China has been fighting the Hepatitis-B virus for 22 years. It used to the the most serious deadly viral illness in the country. Friday marks China’s 29th National Child Vaccination Awareness Day, coinciding with the World Health Organization’s “World Immunization Week.”
This year’s theme is “Stop Hepatitis B and Liver Cancer-Vaccinate at Birth.” Before the year 1992, 1 out of 10 Chinese carried the virus. The infection rate stayed as high as 58 percent. Every year, about 200,7000 people died of Hepatitis B related illnesses.
The nation introduced its expanded vaccination program for newborns in 2008. The plan recommends 11 kinds of vaccines for all newborns nationwide, aiming to protect children against 12 deadly viruses. Since 2012, less than 2 percent of children in China were diagnosed with HBV disease.About 380 million doses of vaccine are given to nearly 16 million newborns every year, covering 95 percent of newborns in the country. Recently, the vaccination rate dropped due to fears over drug safety. CCTV’s liu Yang reports with more on China’s vaccination day.