Expert warns of 'endless troubles' without flu inoculation

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, October 29, 2009
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China's top epidemiologist Zeng Guang on Thursday urged more people to be inoculated against A/H1N1 flu while reassuring the public about the vaccine safety.

"If people do not have themselves vaccinated now, there will be endless troubles in the future," Zeng Guang, chief epidemiologist of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said in an interview with Xinhua.

"With the number of patients with severe symptoms growing, China's medical treatment capacity, such as equipment and personnel, is to face huge challenges. We need to prepare in advance."

He said a peak of the A/H1N1 flu outbreaks in China was expected between this winter and spring.

An estimated 400,000 people in China had been inoculated with A/H1N1 flu vaccine and no serious adverse reaction had been reported.

"No vaccine is totally risk-free," he said. "But the benefits of such a vaccine is much greater than its risks."

Zeng said many technologies China used in producing the A/H1N1 flu vaccines were those being used in producing regular flu vaccines. "They are mature technologies."

A recent survey by popular web portal showed that more than 54 percent of the 2,000 respondents said they did not plan to be vaccinated out of the safety concerns over the shot.

"I wish I could test the A/H1N1 flu vaccine for my son," said a mother surnamed Zhou who still hesitates to let her son be vaccinated.

"I am worried about the potential health hazards since it has yet to be thoroughly tested," Zhou said. Her 6-year-old son is in primary school in Haidian District, Beijing.

"My friends and I haven't felt any side effects," said Shi Xiaoning, a postgraduate of Renming University. Shi and his classmates who participated in the National Day Parade on Oct.1 had been vaccinated at the end of September.

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