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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 November 2005, 13:55 GMT
China to vaccinate 14bn poultry
Chinese workers prepare to slaughter chickens. File photo
China has also conducted mass culls of birds to stem the virus
China has vowed to vaccinate all of its estimated 14 billion poultry to contain the spread of bird flu.

In his announcement, Chief veterinary officer Jia Youling said all the fees would be covered by the government.

The move comes as new outbreaks of bird flu were confirmed in several regions of China in the past month.

So far there have been no confirmed human infections in China, although several cases are being investigated.

The H5N1 strain of bird flu has killed more than 60 people in South East Asia since 2003.

Vaccine shortages

Mr Jia made the announcement while answering questions on an internet forum about the current bird flu situation in the country.

China is producing more than 100m doses of bird flu vaccine a day but some areas were still reporting shortages, the ministry of agriculture says.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said it had been told by Beijing about two new outbreaks of flu among chickens in China's far-western Xinjiang province on 9 November.

More than 300,000 poultry had been slaughtered in two counties of the province, a WHO spokesman in Beijing said.

WHO officials are also investigating the possible transmission of the disease to four people in Hunan province.



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