Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) will vaccinate all new recruits against hepatitis B in 2008 to "enhance its combativeness", the army's top medical academy said on Tuesday.
China had more than 100 million people living with the virus, and every year more than 10 million people are developing as hepatitis B patients, said Sun Jianzhong, president of Academy of PLA's Military Medical Sciences (AMMS).
"It is more susceptible to infecting troops," Sun said.
"The move will greatly reduce the hepatitis B rate in the Chinese army ... and enhance its combativeness," he added.
A six-member expert panel, sent by the PLA's Center for Disease Control, has been stationed in a Beijing-based camp to offer guidance on the vaccination program.
Sources from AMMS said that PLA's Health Department also planned on revising the existing rules on vaccination and providing hepatitis B vaccine to the rest of the army.
(Xinhua News Agency January 16, 2008)