Viral post inflames anger in China over vaccine safety

Ben Davidson
July 27, 2018

The officials have already ordered Changsheng to freeze production and recall all its vaccines, however, no apparent case of people being harmed or have contracted rabies was reported.

A law enforcement officer checks the vaccine supply in Rongan, China.

The authorities found that the company falsified production and inspection records of an anti-rabies vaccine administered to humans and ordered that its production is stopped.

The WHO is awaiting the results of further investigations into the sweeping vaccine scandal and stands ready to provide China's national health authorities with any necessary support, the statement said.

That vaccine for diphtheria, whooping cough and tetanus was found by regulators to fail quality standards, but the company revealed that it sold 250,000 doses to Shandong province previous year. As we wrote yesterday, Chinese citizens distinctly remember the state's series of failures in recent years to ensure the security of food and vaccines, crisis after crisis, so the bar is set quite high for public confidence in domestically produced vaccines to be restored.

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State Food and Drug Administration will review the entire process of Changsheng Bio-technology Co Ltd's vaccine production and sales, it said in a statement posted on its website.

Marina Cui - a 25-year-old mother from the southwestern Yunnan province whose five-month old child took a DPT vaccine last week - said the latest revelations had made her anxious about the overall safety of vaccines. Just one day later President XI Jingping called the situation "vile in nature and shocking" on CCTV, according to local media. "This incident shows that when regulatory oversight works well, potential risks can be averted", he continued.

Though there have not been any reports of injury caused by the vaccine, the news has had a major impact on the public, who have seen through multiple vaccination issues over the past decade. Hundreds of thousands of children might have been injected with faulty vaccines, the New York Times reports.

In 2008, milk and baby formula tainted by the chemical melamine killed six infants and left tens of thousands hospitalised, rocking China's dairy sector and leading to a regulatory shake-up.

CHINA'S newest product-safety scare burst into the public consciousness when an obscure essay alleging corruption in the pharmaceutical industry become an Internet sensation, exposing widespread anger and distrust after a string of scandals. The Chengshang scandal, which was discovered eight months ago but not made public until now, is no different.

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