Vietnam’s Central Highlands provinces are battling a fast-spreading diphtheria outbreak, with 15 new cases recorded in the last two days. In just over a month, diphtheria has struck four provinces in the region with 93 infections in total and three deaths.
Low vaccination rates have been blamed for the repeated crisis in the region. The General Department of Preventive Medicine under the Health Ministry said on June 26 the local vaccination rate for diphtheria was just 48-50 percent, leaving the Central Highlands susceptible to reoccurring outbreaks.
In Vietnam, children under two are given free five-in-one vaccine shots that include diphtheria.