Hepatitis B vaccine banned
Chinese authorities on Friday issued a circular to ban the use of the recombinant hepatitis B vaccine produced by the Shenzhen-based BioKangtai company. The circular, jointly issued by the China Food and Drug Administration and the National Health and Family Planning Commission, said four infant deaths were reported in Hunan, Guangdong and Sichuan provinces after inoculations using the vaccine. The CFDA and the NHFPC will carry out further investigations into the cases and an inspection of the company, the circular said. China’s top health authority on Friday told health departments at all levels to tighten supervision of new pneumonia and flu cases. According to the National Health and Family Planning Commission, on Wednesday, Jiangxi province confirmed a human case of H10N8, a new strain of bird flu. The commission also said Guangdong province has reported six cases of H7N9 bird flu since October, and Zhejiang province reported five in the second half of the year. The commission urged local health authorities to make H7N9 prevention and control a priority, strengthen monitoring and step up medical treatments. Heavy haze will continue to shroud some cities in Central and East China since no cold front is in sight to disperse it, the national observatory forecast on Saturday. The southern parts of North China, some regions along the Yellow and Huai rivers, and areas south of the Yangtze River will likely experience haze — with visibility at less than 1,000 meters — until Dec 25, the National Meteorological Center said.