China will not repeat U.S. flu vaccinations disaster of 30 years ago

15:39, November 09, 2009      

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Yan Jiangying, spokeswoman of the State Food and Drug Administration, made a speech in the China Health Communication Convention on Nov. 7th, saying that the safety and effctiveness of homemade H1N1 vaccine was determined by scientific methods. In respect of the number of people being tested for the vaccine, China ranked first in the world. There were about 13 thousand people in China taking vaccination for test.

Li Xiguang, host of the Convention said, in 1976, swine flu burst out in the United States. At that time, the U.S. government provided swine flu vaccines for the public, however, common people refused to be vaccinated. Then the TV broadcasted pictures of President Ford being vaccinated, saying that it was safe to take the vaccination. As a result, four people died of the vaccination and more than 100 people were paralyzed. The vaccination was stopped, and the minister of health stepped down. The new minister of health was worried that the death rate of taking vaccination would be even higher than that of swine flu itself, at last, the plan for vaccination was given up by the government. Li asked Yan, had the Chinese State Food and Drug Administration prepared any plan for the accidental death in vaccination? If anyone died from the vaccination, how would the authority handle it?

Yan said that vaccine played a very important role in controlling disease and that she could guarantee the safety and the effectiveness of H1N1 vaccine in China.

"We knew that the wide-use of swine flu vaccinations once led to some negative consequences in the U.S. However, that happened in 1976, during which period the contemporary science and clinical observation were far behind today," said Yan, "It was very wise of the U.S. government to stop the use of swine flu vaccination at that time."

China got the H1N1 strain from WHO in June, after that Chinese government has organized experts to study it and then started making vaccine. "All the production process, including the research session, experiment session, and the clinic observation session, were all under precisely scientific control," said Yan. Experts from the US Central of Disease Control and many other health-related authorities had been invited to participate in this process, Yan added.

"What's more, the clinic observation also included a large-scaled sample, more than tens of thousands of people took the test. This sample made it very easy for us to detect any potential problem of the H1N1 vaccine," Yan said.

According to Yan Jiangying, the standard of H1N1 vaccine on Chinese market had reached that of the International level. This standard would minimize the failure risk to less than 10 percent. The untoward effects would be like symptoms of common cold, if any risk occurred after taking the vaccine.

Yan said, "Scientifically speaking, any vaccine would bear some untoward effects. Those range from the common diseases to some serious ones. We are making special efforts in observing those who have receiving the vaccine." Yan also suggested people who took the vaccine to see doctors if any problems occurred.

Deng Haihua, spokesman of the Ministry of Health, said that 13 thousand was a large number for clinic obeservation; the test people in China were a lot more than that of the United States and Canada. Until now, more than 5 million people in china had been officially vaccinated and the vaccine proved to be safe and sound.

By People's Daily Online
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