Faulty Vaccines in China Spark National Outrage
Two batches of children’s vaccines – rabies, and diphtheria and tetanus (DPT) have been deemed defective in China leading to a recall of all unused vaccines. What the consequences will be on children’s health is unknown.
Five executives from the company that manufactured the vaccines, Changchun Changsheng Biotechnology, were taken into custody by police for questioning. China’s Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) has launched an investigation into Changchun Changsheng Biotechnology and revoked the license of the company to produce human rabies vaccines.
Hundreds of thousands of Chinese nationals are outraged by the development, expressing disappointment in the country’s health industry. Chinese President Xi Jinping has expressed disgust over the situation, calling the incident “vile and shocking.”
CNN reported the Chinese platform Weibo, which is akin to Twitter, has been inundated with hundreds of thousands of comments about the incident and are spreading the hashtag #Changsheng bio-tech vaccine incident.
“My home country, how can I trust you? You just let me down again and again,” one user said. “Our trust has been overdrawn again and again, it’s so irresponsible for everyone’s life,” said another.
Children in China are mandated to get vaccinated throughout the country. The state media agency Xinhua says a minimum of 113,000 doses of rabies vaccines were defective and 253,338 doses of DPT vaccines are similarly defective.
In a similar incident in November 2017, about 400,000 doses of the same DPT vaccine but manufactured by a different company, Wuhan Institute of Biological Products, were found to be “substandard.”
Children’s Vaccine Controversy Raises Questions over Quality of Chinese Products
The defective vaccines came to light following a government inspection of Changsheng facilities on July 15. According to CNN, the government found that the company had fabricated production and testing records and falsified production specifications and equipment.
The Chinese government has responded swiftly and sternly in hope of stemming any criticism directed at the Chinese government. So far the Chinese government has fined Changsheng $507,843.
“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,” a statement released by China’s Central Government said.
Changsheng company management has expressed deep regret over the faulty vaccines, saying they feel “very ashamed and guilty.” They stated they have learned a profound lesson from the unfortunate incident, pledging to take “practical corrective measures and rectify thoroughly.”
This vaccine scandal has once again brought to the fore the various controversies surrounding fake and defective China products. Critics say substandard China products range from furniture to machinery and from electrical appliances to soup condiments.