SHENZHEN, Dec. 23 (Xinhua) -- The number of cases of infant deaths following hepatitis B vaccines rose to at least six in China after three more deaths were reported in south China's Guangdong Province, according to local authorities.
Since November, four infants have been reported dead after they received injections of hepatitis B vaccine made by Shenzhen-based Biokangtai, according to the Provincial Disease Control and Prevention Center on Monday.
The four deaths in Guangdong occurred in Zhongshan, Jiangmen, Shenzhen and Meizhou, according to the center. Experts ruled on Nov. 29 that the case in Zhongshan was not related to the vaccine, saying the baby in that case died of severe pneumonia.
A circular issued by the country's top health, food and drug authorities on Friday ordered to suspend the use of the Biokangtai vaccines. Based on information in the circular, two deaths have also been reported in central China's Hunan Province, and one death was reported in southwestern Sichuan Province.
These new reports bring the number of infant deaths following vaccines from the company to at least six across the country.
In the latest case in Shenzhen, the newborn died about 70 minutes after he was injected with the vaccine.
The father of the baby told Xinhua that doctors said the infant was in good condition before the vaccine was given shortly after his birth last Tuesday morning in a hospital.
In Hunan, a one-month-old boy died on Dec. 6 in Hengshan County, two days after being vaccinated. An eight-month-old died in Changning City on Dec. 9, one day after vaccination for both hepatitis B and flu. A third newborn in Hanshou County showed a severe adverse reaction after being vaccinated on Nov. 25, according to local disease control authorities.