Beijing: China Saturday began its nationwide measles vaccination programme for an estimated 100 million children.
The ten-day programme will target children aged between eight months and 14 years, Xinhua reported.
"The vaccination is not compulsory," said Wang Yu, director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. "The vaccination is free and will not be conducted unless the parents are well informed and give consent."
According to Chinese health ministry, 131,000 measles cases were reported in the country in 2008, accounting for 46 percent of the world`s total. The figure dropped by 60.1 percent to 52,000 in 2009 and, in the first six months of this year, it was down 25.1 percent compared with the same period of last year, due to "regular vaccination".
The ministry has allocated 157 million yuan ($23 million) for the vaccination programme.