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Due to Bidding Red Tape, Pasteur Institute HCMC Runs Out of Vaccines

Saigoneers wishing to inoculate themselves or their children have recently been turned away at the Pasteur Institute in HCMC as the institute struggles to secure its vaccine supplies.

According to VnExpress, the shortage of common but crucial vaccines, such as those against rabies, deeply worries many local residents who see the Pasteur Institute as their go-to vaccination center. As of June 23, 2022, the center's registration website still reports that 18 out of 19 vaccine types on offer are still out of stock, with the exception of two Rota vaccines. Despite the high demand, it is currently unknown when a complete vaccine restock will be available.

However, VTV News emphasized that the shortage at the Pasteur Institute HCMC only applies to out-of-pocket vaccination packages, whereas Expanded Program for Immunization vaccines under the national coverage for children and pregnant women are still available. Moreover, Ho Chi Minh City still has many other vaccination centers including the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases and 11 VNVC centers where customers can get the same vaccines. 

Speaking to Tuổi Trẻ about the issue, Pasteur Institute HCMC representatives mentioned immense obstacles in the bidding processes which prevent public medical centers from securing their vaccine stock in a prompt and easy manner. On the other hand, the Ministry of Health suggests that risk-averse public agencies might be hesitant to participate in bidding rounds even though they are fully authorized by the government to do so.

[Photo: Saigoneers waiting to register for their diphtheria shots at the Pasteur Institute in 2020/Anh Nhàn via Lao Động]

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