WHO: China's A/H1N1 flu vaccine safe, effective

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, October 27, 2009
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The World Health Organization's (WHO) Representative in China said Tuesday that the China-made A/H1N1 flu vaccine is safe and the WHO would continue to push for vaccination in the fight against the disease.

Representative Michael O'Leary said at a press conference that China's use of the A/H1N1 flu vaccine had been proved safe and in line with WHO expectations.

A survey by the China Daily and website portal sohu.com, which was released Monday, showed more than 54 percent of the 2,000 respondents said they did not plan to be vaccinated because they did not trust the safety and quality of the vaccine.

The China Daily quoted a mother in Beijing as saying the vaccine had been developed too quickly and she questioned its reliability when it came to vaccinating her child.

Responding to the public's worries over the vaccines, O'Leary said the A/H1N1 flu vaccine was developed in almost the same way as regular seasonal flu vaccines, and there is no difference between the A/H1N1 flu vaccines and seasonal flu vaccines in terms of safety and effectiveness.

The A/H1N1 flu vaccine was a brand-new vaccine and mass production was necessary to reduce the number of infections, O'Leary said.

He said the WHO had appraised production capabilities before the mass production.

Nothing was absolutely safe or effective, and the key was to reach a balance between the possible harms brought by the disease itself and the vaccination, he said.

China was the first country in the world to issue a production license for A/H1N1 flu vaccine last month. Vaccines produced in the country have been stocked by the state and are so far unavailable on the market.

More than 300,000 people had been inoculated by Oct. 10, of whom 150 showed adverse reactions, including vocal swelling and pain, fever, vomiting and fatigue.

As of Monday, the Chinese mainland had reported nearly 36,000 confirmed cases of A/H1N1 flu, about 82 percent of whom had recovered, according to the Ministry of Health. Three deaths had been reported.

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