Vaccine Uptake Research and Engagement in Vietnam

Understanding barriers to childhood vaccination and working with healthcare workers to improve uptake

In Vietnam, the Expanded Programme on Immunisation was introduced in 1985 and has achieved high national coverage every year. In 1995 it was followed by the maternal and neonatal tetanus initiative. The aim was to eliminate vaccine-preventable diseases in infants and children. Reported coverage of these vaccines is high but a continual low-level rate of neonatal tetanus and sporadic outbreaks of other diseases, such as diphtheria and measles, indicate that there are significant gaps in the vaccination program.

Studies by the local Preventative Medicine Centre (PMC) and OUCRU indicate that ethnic minority rural communities have the lowest vaccination coverage. These studies also suggest there may be specific cultural and ethical issues surrounding the acceptance and uptake of vaccinations. There are also practical challenges involved in implementing an immunization program in remote communities.

Our aim is to improve vaccine uptake through:

  • research into attitudes and experiences around vaccination amongst community members and healthcare workers
  • engagement with community members and healthcare workers.

Ultimately, we hope to contribute to an improved understanding of and uptake of vaccines in ethnic minority rural communities.

Key Milestones / Activities

In Binh Phuoc

Through this project, we worked alongside local health providers and the commune health care workers to design and trial different community engagement activities to raise awareness of the role and importance of vaccination in remote communities.

These included training workshops for local healthcare workers (HCWs) about communication skills and knowledge of the EPI programme.

  • Posters were designed using pictures (taken locally) and a few words that made them attractive and effective for local people, as literacy levels are low in these communes. The posters were put up in places that people usually frequent such as pharmacies, private clinics, grocery stores, and gas stations, etc.
  • A drama was written based on interviews with community members, which were performed in local communes, attracting children and their parents.

Watch the drama here 

In Dak Lak

Our research activities explored the perceptions and experiences of vaccination amongst community members and healthcare workers in Dak Lak province. This data is informing our engagement activities.

Read more about the project here

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