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August 13, 2009

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Flu vaccines safe so far

THE Health Ministry announced yesterday that initial clinical tests on China's H1N1 flu vaccines proved the drugs to be "safe and reliable" for human use, as test volunteers readied themselves for a second round of inoculation.

No cases of severe adverse drug reactions had been reported among more than 13,300 volunteers who took part in clinical trials of vaccines developed by 10 Chinese pharmaceutical companies, said a statement from the ministry.

In a demonstration of confidence in the drugs, Health Minister Chen Zhu took the lead yesterday afternoon by receiving his second inoculation of the vaccine. Chen received the first such shot on July 22.

The other volunteers began receiving their shots later in the day.

They would be studied by an expert team from the Health Ministry and further results will be compiled within days, said Wang Yu, director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

All clinical trials were supervised by the CCDCP.

Wang said the ministry would unveil China's vaccination plan after the H1N1 flu vaccine clinical trials end in mid-September, adding that safety was the top priority in the development of the drug.


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