China has issued its first warrant for mass inoculation with domestic A/H1N1 flu vaccine, the first country in the world to do so, Health Minister Chen Zhu said Tuesday.
Chen said the warrant was issued by the State Food and Drug Administration Monday after the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines had been proved in clinical tests.
The first people to receive the vaccinations will be those attending celebrations for the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, Chen said.
The celebration on Oct. 1 consists of a military parade, a mass pageant and a gala. The pageant alone will involve about 200,000 citizens.
Chen said protection would also be given to vulnerable groups, such as carriers of chronic disease, school students and medical staff.
"We will also consider the differences between regions and start the vaccinations in areas where flu situations are serious," Chen said.
Chen said the vaccination plan had been drafted on the basis of repeated and conscientious work by medical experts, with advice from the World Health Organization (WHO).
Besides vaccination, other preventive measures, such as education for the public on prevention, would be carried on to keep the epidemic in a "controllable state", Chen said.
"We will improve information channels and formulate prevention plans targeting railway and aviation venues where there is strong human presence and migration," he said.
"We will also improve treatment methods," he said. "Apart from respiratory and anti-virus medicines, we will use traditional Chinese medicine."
Chen said the medical system was prepared to treat patients "on a large scale", especially those showing severe symptoms.