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Vaccine side effects hit children
( 2003-11-10 22:49) (China Daily)

The health bureau of the city of Fushun, in Northeast China's Liaoning Province, has issued orders stopping the using of a flu vaccine that may cause infants to suffer fever and even twitching after vaccination.

Zhou Yi, an official with the city's health bureau said in a phone call that four babies had had serious side effects to a vaccine, including twitching and high fever.

Fortunately, they had recovered by Friday after emergency treatment and two days in the hospital, the official added.

Though the precise reasons for the side effects are as yet unknown, the bureau has banned use of all vaccines of the same type, he said.

The vaccines were part of a supply of more than 1,000 vials of domestically made flu vaccine that the bureau purchased through legal channels, said Zhou, who refused to reveal the name of the producer.

"The supply of flu vaccine was limited, and there was a huge demand for shots among local parents who wanted their babies safe from flu,'' he said.

During the past week, at least 100 infants were vaccinated at the hospital, Su Junyan, a doctor with Fushun No 2 Hospital, was quoted as saying by the Shenyang-based Huashang Morning Post.

Last Wednesday evening, at least 10 infants who had been vaccinated against flu in the Fushun No 2 Hospital that morning, were brought back to the hospital running a fever, the newspaper reported.

The local disease prevention and control centre has investigated the accident.

Wu Jiang, an expert with the Beijing municipal disease prevention and control centre said no similar cases have ever been heard of in the capital.

But he stressed that research results show the smaller in age children are, the stronger will be their reaction to vaccinations.

"The reaction of people to vaccination depends on the kind of vaccine, their age and the dosage,'' said Wu, adding the side effects of flu vaccines can be somewhat mitigated by drinking lots of water.

In September, the city's vaccination service prepared a supply of flu vaccines specially designed for infants under three years old, which were either imported or produced by joint-venture pharmaceutical firms.

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