Outrage over China vaccines scandal

One of the largest vaccine manufacturers in China, Changchun Changsheng Bio-technology Ltd. was found to have falsified reports in connection with production and inspection of around 113,000 rabies vaccines. They also falsified the records and distributed 250,000 of faulty DPT (diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus) vaccines to the general population last year. This latest and second misdemeanour naturally has sparked a public outrage.

Chinese Premiere Li Keqiang has tried to reassure the citizens and promised to take necessary steps. Changsheng produces nearly a quarter of all the China’s rabies vaccines and as a result of this gross negligence has been fined 3.4 million yuan (US $ 502,200). They have been asked to stop the production of the vaccines and recall all the flawed samples that they have distributed. Their license for manufacturing rabies vaccine has been revoked. According to the statement of Premier Li Keqiang released this Sunday, the company’s conduct has “violated a moral bottom line.” He pledged a “crackdown” on public threats such as these. “Those involved will be resolutely punished with zero tolerance. (The government) will resolutely crack down on all illegal and criminal acts that endanger the safety of people's lives,” the statement said. Country’s President, Xi Jinping called this incident as “vile and shocking”. The company has apologised for the scandal in a statement in return. The company statement released to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange read, “The company will learn a lesson and take practical corrective measures and rectify thoroughly.”

Up until now over 200,000 children in Shandong province have received the low quality of the vaccines, owever there have been no reports of harmful effects or injuries among the children. The whole matter is being investigated by China's Food and Drug Administration (CFDA). Investigators might file criminal charged for this misconduct. At present five of the senior executives of the company including the chairwoman have been arrested for detailed interrogation by the Changchun police. The police in their statement have said that an official criminal investigation against the company has been started.

The issue of faulty vaccine first came into news in July this year when the government officials were conducting an inspection of the company. The officials found that the company was fabricating the production and testing results and records. They were falsifying production specifications and equipment said the CFDA.

Eight provinces or cities have immediately stopped the use of human rabies vaccine from Changsheng. Four other provinces have said that they have never used these vaccines.

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.

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