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Pregnant women to be targeted in new H1N1 plan

2009-12-10 09:00 BJT

By Shan Juan (China Daily)

China is preparing an inoculation plan for all pregnant women, who make up nearly 14 percent of the total number of reported deaths from the A/H1N1 flu on the mainland.

Doctors at Anqing City Hospital in Anhui province perform a last check on a patient who had been treated for the H1N1 virus before she was discharged from the hospital.[Photo by Xu Jixiang/China Daily]
Doctors at Anqing City Hospital in Anhui province perform a last check on 
a patient who had been treated for the H1N1 virus before she was discharged 
from the hospital.[Photo by Xu Jixiang/China Daily]

Nearly 8 percent of pregnant women have severe cases of H1N1, according to the Ministry of Health yesterday. Forty-six pregnant women have thus far died because of the flu.

Other groups facing high risks of infection include the chronically ill, the obese, infants and seniors, the ministry said.

No clear evidence has so far shown that the vaccine harms both the pregnant mother and her baby, according to international studies.

Health experts and officials with departments such as the Ministry of Health, the State Food and Drug Administration, and the Chinese Center for Disease Prevention and Control are currently working closely to figure out an exact inoculation plan for pregnant women, said Zhao Kai, a vaccine expert and academician with the Chinese Academy of Engineering, yesterday.

"Pregnant women are advised to consult obstetric doctors before deciding whether or not to get the jab," he said.

Of the total number of H1N1 deaths, approximately 47 percent suffered from chronic diseases and 18 percent were obese. Men accounted for 58 percent of the death toll.