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Flu vaccine production in pipeline

[ 2009-09-01 13:05]     字号 [] [] []  
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China is set to be the first country to mass-produce a vaccine against the A/H1N1 flu pandemic, which scientists warn might erupt this fall and winter.

After passing a panel of expert’s certification organized by the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) yesterday, the vaccine is expected to be approved by the government this week.

The vaccine was developed by Beijing-based Sinovac.

The A/H1N1 influenza vaccine would be appropriate for anyone aged 3 to 60, said vaccine expert Zhao Kai, who is with SFDA's Drug Evaluation Center. Only one shot is needed for inoculation.

"It's up to the international standard for safety and immunogenicity factors," Zhao said yesterday at the expert’s certification meeting.

The vaccine will go into the national strategic stockpile instead of the marketplace and the Ministry of Health will devise a national inoculation plan, said Yang Jinrui, with the ministry's press office.

Health authorities will closely watch its safety after large-scale inoculation. No major adverse reactions were detected in clinical trials, said Li Guoqing, who heads the SFDA's Drug Evaluation Center.

The government will be responsible for any serious side effects from the vaccine, he said.

Vivian Tan, press officer with the World Health Organization Beijing office, said yesterday that the office had no details on the Sinovac clinical trials or the government's approval process, but gave recommendations on the immunization protocol.

Suggested target groups are healthcare workers, who are more likely to be exposed to the virus, pregnant women, people aged above six months with chronic medical conditions such as respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, healthy adults aged 15-49 and children.

Health Minister Chen Zhu said previously that China would prepare enough A/H1N1 vaccines for 5 percent of the population by year's end.

The Ministry of Health yesterday called on the public to fight against A/H1N1 flu as risks are rising amid recent cases of group infection.

The Chinese mainland had reported 3,757 A/H1N1 flu cases by yesterday, 86.5 percent of whom had recovered, the ministry said.

Globally, the disease has killed nearly 2,000 people and infected more than 180,000.

(英语点津 Helen编辑)

Flu vaccine production in pipeline

About the broadcaster:

Flu vaccine production in pipeline

Nancy Matos is a foreign expert at China Daily Website. Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Nancy is a graduate of the Broadcast Journalism and Media program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Her journalism career in broadcast and print has taken her around the world from New York to Portugal and now Beijing. Nancy is happy to make the move to China and join the China Daily team.