Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Shanghai company approved to mass produce A(H1N1) flu vaccine

Published: Wednesday September 16, 2009 MYT 11:40:00 AM

Shanghai company approved to mass produce A(H1N1) flu vaccine

SHANGHAI: The Shanghai Institute of Biological Sciences has received the license for mass production of the Influenza A (H1N1) vaccine from the State Food and Drug Administration, Xinhua news agency reported Wednesday.

Head of BioProduct Centre Ma Xianghu told the Chinese news agency that the city-made vaccine adopted the state-of-the-art ether technique with less residue and weak clinical side effects.

Prior to the National Day on Oct 1, the institute will produce three million bottles of A(H1N1) flu vaccine, and its output will reach 10 million bottles at the end of the year, according to Ma.

On Tuesday night, officials with the institute met the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, which is in charge of vaccine production and storage, to discuss production plans, according to Wednesday’s Shanghai Daily.

The free vaccine, with purchase price covered by the government, is for people aged over three and one shot is reportedly enough to protecting against the A(H1N1) flu virus.

City vaccination plans drafted by the Shanghai Health Bureau are still being evaluated by the Ministry of Health.

“We will give preferential consideration to vulnerable groups like students, the elderly, medical care workers and public service staff as well as people working for the 2010 Shanghai World Expo,” Song Guofan, an Expo official, was quoted by the local newspaper as saying.

Wang Mengliang, vice-director of the Shanghai Institute of Biological Sciences, said domestic vaccine producers were facing a huge demand.

The institute is the country’s third licensed mass producer of A(H1N1) flu vaccine. Sinovac Biotech Ltd in Beijing and Hualan Biological Engineering Inc in Henan, have also received licenses to produce A(H1N1) flu vaccine. -- Bernama