With flu season fast encroaching, some relevant news from AP:
"China is close to approving homegrown swine flu vaccines that manufacturers say can protect people with a single dose, an encouraging development for health officials racing to prepare for an expected spike in cases this winter.
Experts said China’s versions could boost global efforts to fight the virus if claims they work with just one dose are proven. Many health authorities have assumed two doses would be needed to offer complete protection against the new H1N1 virus, so a single-dose vaccine means producers could distribute supplies to more people more quickly.
The World Health Organization said it was encouraged after reviewing details of trials of one of the two Chinese vaccines. However, experts said more test results were needed from other vaccine makers around the world to determine if one dose would be potent enough …"
The vaccine, made by a Chinese manufacturer, has essentially the same efficacy as a swine flu vaccine being tested in the States, and the Chinese government is aiming to have enough of the vaccine to cover 5 percent of the total population by year’s end.
Speaking of vaccines, MyHealthBeijing has a new post advising Beijingers on which vaccines they need, with links to US, UK, Canada and China’s vaccination schedules, among others, and information on the optional vaccines that expats might want to consider – hepatitis A, HPV, rabies and Japanese Encephalitis. Check it out here.