August 18, 2018

Outrage in China Over Latest Vaccine Safety Scandal

25 July 2018, 02:50 | Silvia Roy

Fresh scandal erupts over vaccine safety in China

The production of over 250,000 substandard vaccines for diphtheria pertussis and tetanus is only the latest in a series of vaccine scandals in China in recent years

The CFDA announced late Sunday that it had ordered all production stopped at Changchun Changsheng and police have opened a criminal investigation, detaining its chairwoman and four subordinates for investigation.

There has been no evidence of harm from the vaccine, but the scandal has sparked a huge outcry in China.

After a brief trading halt, the shares of Changchun Changsheng's parent company also fell by the 10 per cent limit. They have slumped 47 percent since mid July.

Premier Li issued a statement Sunday denouncing Changsheng for crossing a moral line, and promised to "resolutely crack down" on any actions that endangers public safety.

Changsheng Bio-technology has released an apology, saying the incident has left the company "guilty and embarrassed".

How did all this happen?

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Chinese President Xi Jinping, traveling in Africa, chimed in Monday, calling Changsheng's illegal production of vaccines "vile" and "shocking", according to state broadcaster CCTV.

China's drug regulator said sampling inspections had found that some DPT vaccines produced by Changsheng and rival Wuhan Institute of Biological Products did not meet its potency standards.

Hong Kong―Hong Kong clinics said they had seen a surge in demand for children's vaccines Tuesday after a safety scandal rocked mainland China.

That vaccine for diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus (DPT) was found by regulators to fail quality standards - but the company revealed that it sold 250,000 doses to Shandong province past year.

The company has been fined 3,442,887 yuan (£386,090) in total by the Chinese government.

How will this affect people?

Ltd., though no link was found between the deaths and the vaccine, according to a joint investigation by the CFDA and the National Health and Family Planning Commission.

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The righteous anger of state media and top officials will come as small comfort to concerned parents, who have for years anxious about just this sort of revelation, after the 2008 milk powder crisis and previous vaccine scandals did not result in comprehensive reform. One private Hong Kong clinic in the commercial hub of Tsim Sha Tsui said it had received hundreds of calls and messages, around six times the normal rate of inquiries, since the scandal broke over the weekend.

Numerous defective vaccines were already on the market and given to Chinese children as part of a mandatory vaccination program. Over 200,000 children could be affected.

"My son will be vaccinated next month".

Family members have also been jailed, the rights group said, while journalists who attempted to expose scandals have been removed from their positions. The regulator also identified other problems with processes and equipment. A widely circulated article pointing out murky practices in the vaccine industry in China was deleted.

First mentioned by Xi in November 2012, the Chinese dream shares many similarities with the American one, namely that every person will be able to get ahead and succeed, along with a recognition that China's economic growth in recent decades has not been equally distributed among the country's population.

Some $88m worth of vaccines were found to be inadequately refrigerated and were not transported in approved conditions.

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