BEIJING, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- China has built up
stockpiles of domestically produced human bird flu vaccine in case of a possible
epidemic, the nation's food and drug regulator said here Wednesday.
The vaccine, Panflu, is produced by the Beijing-based
Sinovac Biotech Co., Ltd. It is designed to defend humans from 18 to 60 years
old against the H5N1 virus and its epidemic variety, said Yan Jiangying, a
spokeswoman with the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA).
According to the Health Ministry, China has recorded
eight cases of human bird flu since December with five fatalities.
"In consideration of the serious situation, we've
adopted a new measure of simultaneous inspections of the vaccine. That is, the
administration and the company check the products at the same time, for
efficiency, thus they can be immediately brought into use if outbreaks erupt,"
She explained that as production of the vaccine takes
time, sufficient quantities must be stored ahead of any outbreaks so
vaccinations can be started immediately.
Many other countries have also stored human bird flu
vaccines in anticipation of a sudden outbreak, she said.
SFDA authorized Sinovac to begin commercial
production of the vaccine in April 2008 after more than two years of clinical
trials, making China the world's second country with the technology and
industrial capacity to produce human bird flu vaccine.
China started clinical research and experiments as
part of the process of making a vaccine in November 2005, after a domestic
outbreak caused huge losses for poultry breeders.