Thailand hit by MMR vaccine shortage

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BANGKOK, 2 October 2013 The National Health Security Office (NHSO) has informed health offices nationwide that the country is experiencing a shortage of the vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella (MMR). 

The NHSO revealed that there has been a worldwide shortage of the vaccine because of high demand and limited suppliers. Domestically, a high number of doses of MMR vaccine were given to infants and children from May to July of this year.

Health professionals cautioned that the vaccine shortage will increase the risk of infection for children aged 9 months to 6 years.

To cope with the shortage, the NHSO has announced that it is suspending the injection of the vaccine from September to mid-December this year. The office assured that children who are scheduled to receive their shots during the suspension period can come in after December 15 without any risks.

Around 700,000 doses of MMR vaccine are administered to children each year by the Government Pharmaceutical Office.

Meanwhile, after the MMR vaccine shortage occurred, the National Vaccine Committee has found a new vaccine supplier and has ordered a new batch of vaccine which is expected to be imported into Thailand by mid-November.

The National Vaccine Institute commented on the news, saying that Thailand needs to be able to develop its own vaccine in the future in a bid to prevent a repeat of the shortage.