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Experts hail China's progress in immunization

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-04-23 16:04
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BEIJING -- China has made remarkable progress in vaccination since the national immunization program (NIP) was launched in 1978, experts said ahead of the World Immunization Week which falls on the last week of April.

Currently, the inoculation rate of government-endorsed free vaccines among school-age children on a mandatory basis remains over 90 percent, reducing several vaccine-preventable communicable diseases to the lowest level in history, said Lu Jiang, deputy chief of the National Disease Control and Prevention Administration, at a recent national conference.

Over the years, China has effectively reduced the prevalence rate of hepatitis B virus and prevented around 50 million chronic cases of hepatitis B infections through popularized vaccination and anti-virus treatment.

China has built a monitoring and management system for immunization from the national level down to provincial, municipal and county levels, as well as an inoculation service network reaching counties, townships and villages.

Under the program, 14 vaccines for 15 diseases are provided free of charge nationwide. While some provinces have expanded the list to include non-NIP vaccines, the extent of this effort varies among different regions.

China-made vaccines have also ventured abroad to become a major force in global public health governance. So far, 10 vaccine products made by six Chinese companies have been prequalified by the World Health Organization.

However, the inoculation rate in some regions has not yet reached a satisfactory level, noted Li Qun, deputy director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC).

The China CDC said it would make efforts to improve the top-level design of the NIP, strengthen the vaccination service system, and promote information connectivity and sharing to boost the immunization rate.

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