China says vaccines didn't cause some kids' deaths

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese health authorities say vaccines did not cause nine children to die shortly after they were inoculated.

The official Xinhua News Agency in a Friday report cited the director of disease control at the national health agency as saying 17 children were reported dead after receiving shots for the liver disease hepatitis B between Dec. 13 and Tuesday.

Xinhua says Yu Jingjin told reporters nine of the cases were unrelated to the vaccines and a preliminary investigation has found no links in the remaining cases as well.

It says the cause of the deaths of those eight cases would only be confirmed after autopsies are completed.

Concerns over vaccine safety have surfaced in recent years after media reports of problems with vaccines for encephalitis, hepatitis B and other diseases.

©2014 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.