Plans to inoculate students, pregnant women, China’s police, health care and other key workers
With two new swine flu vaccines approved for use and five million doses scheduled for delivery this month, China is set to become the first country to begin a mass vaccination campaign against the H1N1 pandemic. But officials with the World Health Organization say that there are some concerns about potential side effects.
Sinovac Biotech wasted little time in testing and gaining official approval of its new swine flu vaccine. Now some of the 200,000 people expected to show up in Beijing beginning October 1 for the 60th anniversary of the founding of the country’s communist government will be first in line for the jab. After that the country plans top inoculate students, pregnant women, healthcare workers and China’s police and other key workers.
China has to be selective. Going all out it can expect to inoculate 65 million people by the end of the year – only a fraction of the country’s population of 1.3 billion. Health officials the world over will be watching China’s experience closely. If the Chinese begin to report side effects, it could have a big impact on how people in the rest of the world view these new vaccines. There’s considerable built-in resistance to noval vaccines, particularly among health workers.
CEO Yin Weidong said, “At the beginning of this year, we forecast our sales would rise by 20 percent. H1N1 has given us an opportunity, so the rise should be more than 20 percent.”
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