The story appears on

Page A2

November 3, 2009

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Metro » Health and Science

Some parents resist swine flu shots

THE Shanghai Health Bureau reassured residents yesterday that swine flu vaccine is safe and effective following reports that some parents are refusing to allow their children to be inoculated against the sometimes-deadly disease.

Schools are the primary target of a citywide campaign to give swine flu shots to high-risk groups, and the results have been mixed so far.

As a result, the health bureau has launched a public awareness campaign in the hopes of securing better participation.

The bureau reported that some 70,000 people have received the shots, and only about 60 have reported mild adverse reactions such as fever or rashes.

As of noon last Thursday, there have been 1,279 swine flu cases reported in the city since the first victim was discovered in May - and 237 cases between October 14 and last Thursday.

Only two cases were considered serious, and one of those is still under treatment.

The health bureau plans to administer swine flu inoculations to students and teachers in primary and middle schools starting November 10. The free H1N1 vaccinations will also be given to police and many other public service workers.

In the move to allay concern about possible side effects, bureau official Song Guofan said state health authorities have established a monitoring network for adverse reactions and planned for possible emergencies.

"So far all adverse reactions in the city have been mild," he said. "There have been no reports in China or other countries of severe adverse reactions to swine flu vaccinations."

Officials pointed out that the shots are voluntary and that parents will be fully informed beforehand about possible side effects.

Even so, many parents were worried about the potential for harm from the newly developed, domestically produced vaccines. The subject has been a hot topic on online forums.

"It takes time to know whether there's a side effect," said a Netizen who goes by Fuwalaoda on a forum popular with parents.

"I don't want my kids to be lab rats," said another parent.

While the health bureau is active in trying to allay fears, educational authorities have asked schools to carry out H1N1 prevention education in class. Posters will also be sent to schools to promote the vaccinations and offer basic prevention knowledge.

"We are informing people about the injections and suggest that people receive them," said Cong Haiying, an official at the Shanghai Education Commission. "But it's their decision to accept the shot or not."

Cong said the commission is still gathering figures from schools. Until yesterday, 91 percent of teachers and students in Songjiang District had agreed to get a vaccination.

But in other districts the response has not been quite as positive, though even the area with the lowest response rate is above 50 percent, officials said.

Zhang Zhiyin, vice president of the high school affiliated with Fudan University, said that only 50 percent of the students applied for the vaccination in the first round, but more than 80 percent signed an agreement letter after the school's education program.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend