North China's Hebei province will provide free hepatitis B vaccines
to babies born after Dec. 1, 2002, a source from the local
department for disease control said.
Hebei province already provides babies with free vaccines for
poliomyelitis, DPT, measles and tuberculosis, at an annual cost of
about 20 million yuan (US$2.4 million), said Cao Jiping, director
of the provincial department for disease control.
Hepatitis B infects 500,000 people each year in China, a quarter of
all in the world, making it one of the country's top infectious
diseases. Currently, there are about 20 million chronic hepatitis B
carriers in China, who suffer greatly in health, employment and
Cao added that a one-time injection will be used to protect
(Xinhua News Agency November 20, 2002)