China says to order 100M doses of H1N1 vaccine by 2nd Phase.
WHO backs China's H1N1 prevention, reporting
Thu, 24 Sep 2009 10:35:29 GMT
By : Josephine Gates
Category : Health (click for link)
Beijing - China's mass vaccination programme against the H1N1 influenza virus and its reporting of confirmed H1N1 infections both appear to conform with international guidelines, although the country has so far not reported any swine-flu deaths, the World Health Organization said on Thursday. WHO experts wondered why China had still reported no deaths from H1N1 despite recording 14,581 confirmed infections by Wednesday, said Vivian Tan, WHO's spokeswoman for China. "There is no clear explanation," Tan told the German Press Agency dpa, adding that the virus was "affecting different countries in different ways."Hong Kong has reported 18 deaths among nearly 24,000 cases, with nearly 44,000 cases and 593 deaths in the United States, and 13,741 cases and 78 deaths in Britain. Tan said WHO experts believed that all the reported Chinese cases were confirmed by laboratory tests. "We have no real reason to doubt the information," she said. China's mass vaccination programme against H1N1 was "generally in line" with WHO recommendations, Tan added. WHO and Chinese health officials were in "constant contact" and China had requested technical advice during the development phase of its vaccines, she said. State media said Thursday the Health Ministry planned to stockpile 26 million H1N1 vaccine shots by the end of October. "The number is expected to increase to 100 million when the country finishes its second phase of production and reservation," Health Ministry official Deng Haihua was quoted as saying. Some 13,000 volunteers took part in ongoing clinical testing of H1N1 vaccines in China. "Generally speaking, the inoculations are safe, but we cannot rule out the possibility of adverse reactions," said Liang Xiaofeng, the director of the government's immunization centre. Only 14 adverse reactions were reported during the first mass vaccination programme in Beijing, Liang said, conceding that there was "still uncertainty" about the safety of the vaccines for vulnerable groups such as pregnant women. Beijing planned to vaccinate another 100,000 students next week before they perform in shows celebrating the 60th anniversary of the People's Republic of China. Nationwide vaccination programmes were scheduled to begin after October 8, Liang said.