The Chinese Government has said it will offer children aged six months to three years free H1N1 influenza jabs.

According to the China health ministry, nearly 51.4 million people have been vaccinated in the country to date.

A vaccination specifically designed for children had been tested in several regions where they are particularly susceptible, the Xinhua news agency said.

Ministry officials have warned of an austere winter flu outlook and are urging caution ahead of the February Lunar New Year holidays.