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[Guangzhou] Free flu vaccines for 1,500
Latest Updated by 2005-09-13 09:54:19

GUANGZHOU'S disease control and prevention center will give out free flu vaccines to 1,500 old people and children in Dongshan District in mid September, the Guangzhou Daily reported Monday (September 12nd).

The move was in accordance with a contingency plan that was being drafted by the Ministry of Health against the possibility of an influenza pandemic in China, the report said.

The center also disclosed that a new strain of flu virus had appeared this year and the latest vaccines to tackle the new virus had been transported to Guangzhou.

Health experts point out that Guangzhou is different from northern cities, as it often sees its peak flu season in December, with the epidemic lasting until May next year. The months of September and October are the best time for flu shots.

Apart from the elderly and children, hospital staff, patients, shopping mall workers and the people working at public entertainment places are prone to getting infected with the flu virus. Experts urge them to take flu vaccines too.

Xu Ruiheng, a doctor with the center, said people should be on high alert against flu. "According to past experience, the intervals between worldwide flu outbreaks were 10 to 50 years. It has been 30 years since the last influenza epidemic broke out worldwide. So now the situation is very perilous," Xu said.

The most effective preparation against flu is vaccination. But the flu viruses mute so frequently that people can hardly get a permanent immunity after a single injection. Experts suggest people take flu vaccines every year.

Editor: Wing

By:Wu Tong Source:Szdaily web edition
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