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Beijing starts free A/H1N1 flu vaccination

Beijing started Wednesday inoculating students, medical staff, public servants and elderly people with A/H1N1 flu vaccine free of charge, a local disease control and prevention official said.

Five groups of people in the city are entitled to receive the free inoculations. They are students and teaching staff of all local middle and primary schools; medical staff; public servants of the railway, civil aviation and transportation sectors; civil servants at key public departments and elderly people above 60 years old, said Deng Ying, director of the Beijing Municipal Disease Control and Prevention Center.

Citizens can decide on themselves if they want the vaccination at each of the 429 vaccination sites, he said.

Beijing has prepared 1.7 million doses of A/H1N1 flu vaccines for the free inoculations. The vaccination would last to Dec. 31, he said.

The capital city had given free A/H1N1 flu inoculations to 95,000 people who took part in the National Day celebrations on Oct. 1. No abnormal reactions had been reported, he said.

Beijing had reported 5,216 cases of A/H1N1 influenza as of Tuesday night. More than 80 percent of the patients were students, said Pang Xinghuo, deputy director of the Beijing Municipal Disease Control and Prevention Center.

A latest survey on local primary and middle school students regarding their intention to receive the A/H1N1 flu vaccine showed that more than 90 percent of them would like to be inoculated, Pang said.

Shanghai and northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region have started free A/H1N1 flu vaccine inoculations to the medical staff since Oct. 15.