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PLoS One. 2015 Apr 29;10(4):e0121717. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0121717. eCollection 2015.

The Lao Experience in Deploying Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 Vaccine: Lessons Made Relevant in Preparing for Present Day Pandemic Threats.

Author information

1
National Immunization Program, Ministry of Health, Vientiane, Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR).
2
Influenza Division, United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America.
3
Emerging Diseases Surveillance and Response Unit, World Health Organization-Western Pacific Region, Country Office, Vientiane, Lao PDR.
4
Expanded Program on Immunization, World Health Organization, Country Office, Vientiane, Lao PDR.
5
National Center for Laboratory and Epidemiology, Ministry of Health, Vientiane, Lao PDR.
6
United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Country Office, Vientiane, Lao PDR.
7
Field Epidemiology Training Program, National Center for Laboratory and Epidemiology, Ministry of Health, Vientiane, Lao PDR.
8
Cabinet, Ministry of Health, Vientiane, Lao PDR.

Abstract

The Lao PDR, as did most countries of the Mekong Region, embarked on a pandemic vaccine initiative to counter the threat posed by influenza A(H1N1)pdm09. Overall, estimated vaccine coverage of the Lao population was 14%, with uptake in targeted health care workers and pregnant women 99% and 41%, respectively. Adverse Events Following Immunization accounted for only 6% of survey driven, reported vaccination experiences, with no severe consequences or deaths. Public acceptability of the vaccine campaign was high (98%). Challenges to vaccine deployment included: 1) no previous experience in fielding a seasonal influenza vaccine, 2) safety and efficacy concerns, and 3) late arrival of vaccine 10 months into the pandemic. The Lao success in surmounting these hurdles was in large measure attributed to the oversight assigned the National Immunization Program, and national sensitivities in responding to the avian influenza A(H5N1) crisis in the years leading up to the pandemic. The Lao "lessons learned" from pandemic vaccine deployment are made even more relevant four years on, given the many avian influenza strains circulating in the region, all with pandemic potential.

PMID:
25923779
PMCID:
PMC4414524
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0121717
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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