H1N1 vaccination program open to every Beijiners
On Friday, the health officials said that the program will begin on Nov 16.
The program means the capital is the first city in China who is going to inoculate all of its registered permanent residents, some 12 million people.
The 12 million vaccinations is about one fifth of total inoculations nationally in China by the end of this year.
Till Nov 6, 2009, Beijing had inoculated 440,000 residents. Most of them were students and people who worked in important service departments. But interest in vaccination has varied.
A medical worker surnamed Liu who worked for Beijing Beanstalk International Bilingual School said that there were less than 20 percent of students who had signed up for the inoculation. The school has, include both elementary and secondary school, more than 300 students from 20 countries worldwide.
She added many of the parents of international students do not trust the quality of the Chinese made vaccines.
The vaccine has been tried and tested and had proven effective with little and harmless side effect, said Zhao Tao, director of the emergency response office under the Beijing Health Bureau. So far, the H1N1 vaccination program nationwide has arrived over 5 million.
However, Zhao emphasized all the choices will be respected.
Some 402 clinics will be opened across the city from Nov 16 to Dec 13, during the whole extended vaccination program. People will be able to get their free shots any available day before the end of the program.
Till now, the injections could only be used to people younger than 60.
Zhan said non-Beijiners living temporarily in the city who worked in important public service departments in the city could also be able to get their free shots.
Besides 12 million official residents, there are around 5 million people in Beijing who do not have a hukou. For them, the chance to have inoculation is slim. The pandemic has caused some 52,000 people in sickness, killed 16, in mainland China.
The way of recording H1N1 deaths will change, the ministry announced on Nov 6, 2009.
Under the new rules, people who appear to be cured of H1N1 but who die of preexisting conditions and of mixed flu virus infections, including the H1N1 strain, will be counted as H1N1 deaths.
Fend Zijina, director of the emergency response department at the Chinese Centers of Disease Prevention and Control, said that it is in line with international practice and is more accurate in reflecting the pandemic situation here in China.
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