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Vaccine safety scares frustrate China’s disease control efforts

Leading into this year’s World Immunization Week, China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) has expressed concern that recent vaccine safety scares will offset its achievements in limiting infectious diseases such as hepatitis B and measles.
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The number of children vaccinated for hepatitis B in ten Chinese regions declined by 30 percent at the end of last year, while vaccination coverage for other diseases declined by 15 percent on average. The NHFPC believes that these declines are attributable in-part to a series of 17 deaths last December that were incorrectly blamed on unqualified hepatitis B vaccines.

China has successfully protected more than 80 million of its children from being infected with the hepatitis B virus, which can cause chronic liver disease and infection, and increases the risk of death from cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer. Unfortunately, drops in vaccination coverage driven by vaccine safety concerns has threatened to leave an estimated 400,000 to 500,000 children susceptible to infectious diseases.

Official figures shows that China has 93 million carriers of hepatitis B, and each year 280,000 people in the country die from diseases related to the virus. Since 1992 China has included hepatitis B in its national immunization program, which also includes diseases such as polio, measles, hepatitis A.

One Response to “Vaccine safety scares frustrate China’s disease control efforts”

  1. Bubbi
    July 31, 2017 at 9:41 am #

    Articles like these put the consumer in the driver seat-very importaot.

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