China is likely to receive samples of a flu strain by early June that will enable it to manufacture A/H1N1 influenza vaccine for human use by July, a Chinese official said.

"The country has set up a green channel between the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Chinese drug makers. As soon as the WHO releases the vaccine strain, drug companies will be informed and will start manufacturing as soon as they can," Yin Hongzhang, head of the biology production department under the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA), was quoted by China’s Xinhua news agency as saying in an interview.

Yin said the green channel would save drug companies up to one month, compared with normal procedures for developing vaccines.

According to the official, as vaccine manufacturing requires high-level safety, China must produce one in line with WHO protocols.

China has 11 drug companies that can produce seasonal flu vaccines but only one can make pandemic flu vaccines.

The official said a vaccine for A/H1N1 would produce antibodies within two weeks after being injected. It would take another 45 days to two months to take full effect, which would normally last for more than one year.

The Chinese mainland by May 26 had 12 confirmed A/H1N1 flu cases./.