10/22/2009, 00.00
Send to a friend

Mass swine flu vaccination in China as peak time approaches

The City of Beijing this morning launched its campaign, starting with primary and middle school students. Vaccination also begins in Yunnan and Gansu provinces. In Japan, the first case of contagion involving pigs is reported in an Osaka farm. Three people die in Thailand from the flu, seven in India.
Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – China has begun mass vaccination against the swine flu in central and western provinces like Yunnan and Gansu. Primary and middle school students are getting free shots. Health authorities warn that the second wave of the outbreak is expected to be more widespread and increase rapidly than the first. It is expected to peak in December and January. In the meantime, the outbreak is spreading across Asia with more cases and deaths reported.  In Japan, the authorities confirm the first case of the A-H1N1 virus in pigs at a farm in Osaka Prefecture.

In Beijing, municipal authorities launched the city’s flu campaign, providing free shots to primary and middle school students with their parents' consent. Medical personnel, public servants working at railways, civil aviation and transportation sectors are also to receive free injections. However, the Chinese capital’s general plan will not be announced until this weekend. It is based on the expectation that the outbreak will peak in December and the start of the new year. Some five million doses have been stockpiled. Meanwhile Yunnan got 750,000 doses and Gansu, another 440,000.

China’s Health Ministry announced that medical and paramedical staff would be among the first to be vaccinated since they will be exposed to infected people. Students, the elderly, teaching staff, and public servants will come next. Everything should be complete by the end of the year.

As of 10 October, more than 300,000 people were given the vaccine, of these, 150 showed adverse reactions that included local swelling and pain, fever, vomiting and fatigue.

The Health Ministry also reported that between Monday and Wednesday there were 2,092 confirmed new cases of the A/H1N1 influenza, bringing the total number of affected people to over 31,000. Thus far, almost 25,000 patients have recovered, but 33 of them remain in serious conditions. Officially, two people have died.

In Japan, the authorities have reported the first case of the A-H1N1 flu in pigs in a farm in Osaka Prefecture. Farm operators were told not to move the animals until genetic tests are complete

In Thailand, three people are confirmed dead from the flu, bringing the total to 173.

The Thai government is late in starting its vaccination campaign, which will not begin until the third week of December, when a million doses of imported vaccine will be available. Another million should be ready for the second week of January, next year.

Lastly, seven more deaths are reported in India, bringing the number to 427 out of 13,030 cases, 61 only yesterday: 12 in Kerala, 11 in Tamil Nadu and Delhi, and 10 in Maharashtra.

Send to a friend
Printable version
See also
Swine flue: mass vaccination for government and party officials in China
Influenza A: “red” alert for Korea as cases double in a week
Pandemic would be a disaster for Asia's economy
Swine flu: mass vaccination for pilgrims going to Makkah
Swine flu in Asia: schools deserted and new outbreaks reported as the authorities call for calm