1.92m get vaccinated in the fight against flu in Shanghai

SHANGHAI has vaccinated some 1.92 million people at risk from swine flu or seasonal flu, the city’s health bureau said yesterday.Over 1.354 million people from vulnerable groups such as medical staff and students and teachers at primary and middle schools have been given swine flu shots since mid October.About 571,000 people in the at-risk population for seasonal flu have received vaccinations since the middle of December, the bureau said.As of yesterday, the city had confirmed 3,063 swine flu cases since the first patient was diagnosed in May. Seven people, including a five-year-old girl, have died.The city’s health authorities said both vaccinations are safe and have no serious side effects.Shanghai’s facilities for disease prevention and control estimated that more than 90 percent of vaccine recipients have been protected.”Though the city has suffered repeated cold spells recently, the number of primary and middle school students who asked for sick leave due to fever and other flu-like symptoms has dropped greatly,” said Song Guofan, a Shanghai Health Bureau official.Health officials said the swine flu epidemic is stable, but warned that January and February is the peak flu period.”There could be a higher risk of flu viruses spreading in the New Year and during the Spring Festival as large numbers of people will be traveling,” Song said.”We encourage people in the at-risk population for swine flu to get vaccinated and practice good personal hygiene.”

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