Vaccines and immunization
Vaccines are one of the most cost-effective health interventions in history. Each year, vaccines save 2.5 million lives worldwide, yet 1.7 million children still die annually from vaccine-preventable diseases.
With PATH’s help, Vietnam is working to realize the lifesaving benefits of vaccines and reduce the number of deaths from vaccine-preventable diseases. In partnership with the National Expanded Program on Immunization (NEPI), we have worked to increase the quality, safety, and efficiency of Vietnam’s immunization services and expand access to existing vaccines, such as hepatitis B.
Expanding access to lifesaving tools
Chronic liver disease is a significant problem in Vietnam because of the high number of people with the hepatitis B virus. A simple “birth dose” of hepatitis B vaccine given within 24 hours of an infant’s birth can help reduce that number significantly. PATH, NEPI, and other partners are working to expand the use of the birth dose of hepatitis B vaccine by developing an action plan and national guidelines for giving the vaccine birth dose. Working with provincial health departments and national-level partners, we are rolling out the plan and guidelines across Vietnam.
Learn more about our work to improve hepatitis B vaccination.
Not every vaccine is right for every country. In partnership with the National Institute for Hygiene and Epidemiology, PATH helped Vietnam determine whether the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine to prevent cervical cancer was right for them. We conducted research to identify the most effective means of introducing the new vaccine and evaluated two strategies for delivering the vaccine to girls. We also assessed alternate dosing schedules that may work better with local realities. Through this work, PATH provided policymakers with the evidence they needed to evaluate HPV vaccine introduction.
Learn more about our cervical cancer vaccine work.
Although common in most countries across the globe, influenza presents a deadly risk for a pandemic that could kill millions of people. Most vaccines that could provide lifesaving protection against influenza are made in industrialized countries, leaving populations in less developed countries more vulnerable to a pandemic influenza strain. We are working with the Vietnamese government, vaccine manufacturers, and other stakeholders to improve local manufacturing capacity for influenza vaccines and test potential vaccine candidates for seasonal and pandemic influenza.
Ensuring solutions are within reach
Getting vaccines to those who need them most requires a system that can effectively and efficiently store and transport them across the country. PATH works with the World Health Organization (WHO) through the Optimize project to strengthen the cold chain, explore new refrigeration options, and improve information systems for better monitoring of vaccine management and immunizations. During the first phase of the project, we identified technologies and interventions that have the potential to improve the vaccine supply chain now and for years to come. Taking what we learned from the assessment, we are working with NEPI and other partners to test different interventions that could address Vietnam’s immunization system challenges and opportunities.
Learn more about the history of project Optimize in Vietnam and our collaboration with WHO to strengthen Vietnam’s vaccine management and immunization systems in the videos (in English and Vietnamese) below.