Hualan is first influenza vaccine manufacturer in China to get WHO approval

On June 10 -- a split virion, inactivated flu vaccine developed by China-based Hualan Biological Engineering Inc. -- has achieved pre-qualification through the World Health Organization (WHO).

The vaccine will now be evaluated for a purchase plan by the United Nations. This is the first time an influenza vaccine from China has passed WHO's pre-qualification process. Influenza causes severe epidemics worldwide. Flu vaccinations are a recommended and proven way to prevent illness and stem the spread of the flu virus.

Historically, flu pandemics have caused hundreds of millions of deaths. In 1918, a flu pandemic in Spain killed 20 million people; subsequent pandemics in Asia in 1957 and Hong Kong in 1968 also caused millions of deaths.

Studies by the WHO indicate that worldwide one in three children and one in 10 adults are infected with the flu annually.

The WHO pre-qualification evaluated the vaccine's quality, safety and validity. Once the United Nations approves Hualan's vaccine, it will be available globally.

Hualan is the largest influenza vaccine manufacturer in China and fifth largest in the world.

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World Health Organization

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