News this morning is that Beijing United Family Hospital has confirmed they now have the H1N1 (better known as Swine Flu) vaccine available free of charge. The hospital began offering shots over the weekend.
Currently the hospital is getting about 500 doses per day, so the hospital requires you to call in advance to make an appointment. The hospital is giving the same vaccination that all staff members at the hospital received approximately 10 days ago.
Some time ago we carried a link to a post by Dr Richard about safety concerns surrounding the Swine Flu Vaccine. Dr Richard has reiterated the vaccine is safe and is encouraging parents to consider getting their children inoculated. The World Health Organization has also stated the vaccine is safe.
Alan R. Kahn, Vice President, Marketing and Communications for BJU’s parent company United Family Healthcare, said the hospital is confident the locally-manufactured vaccine is safe. He commented, "BJU’s head pharmacist, who is extremely picky about pharmaceuticals and vaccines… is behind the Chinese vaccine as being one of the safest and best available anywhere in the world. She says Sinovac, the company producing, has world class facilities, current studies have shown it is safe, and it has already been administered to millions in China with little impact, exported to Mexico and Hong Kong — the latter being extremely picky about quality."
Kahn added; "No scientific proof or official statements have ever said anything other than this is a safe and effective vaccine. Rumors are just rumors, and people can have their opinions, but this Chinese vaccine might just prove to be the safest out there."
At least some schools in the Shunyi area have been told staff and students can receive the vaccine for free, but no timeframe has been given for administering the inoculations in schools.