CHINA Defective vaccines for newborns: another Chinese health scandal

Fresh scandal erupts over vaccine safety in China

China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) has issued an announcement asking Changchun Changsheng Life Sciences, China's second-biggest rabies vaccine maker, to terminate the production of its Vero-cell rabies vaccines.

Zhen said she'd been supportive of products made in China, unlike a number of her contemporaries who "worship" foreign products.

The disclosure was the company's second major scandal in a week: just days earlier, a probe by state food and drug regulators announced that Changsheng had distributed more than 250,000 doses of a "substandard" DPT (diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus) vaccine, which was discovered a year ago. "A firm determination should be mustered to improve the country's vaccine management system, and utmost efforts should be made to protect the people's interests, social security and stability", he said. More than 250,000 doses of the DPT vaccine had been sold, China's state broadcaster reported.

The regulator ordered it to halt production and recall all its vaccines, the company said in a statement. It's also unclear how many Chinese children received these vaccines and what sort of impact it could have on their health.

Chinese authorities also failed eight batches of a vaccine produced by Sanofi, a French pharmaceutical company, for low quality standards past year.

The current vaccine case "crossed a moral line", Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said over the weekend.

"We will resolutely crack down on illegal and criminal acts that endanger the safety of peoples' lives, resolutely punish lawbreakers according to the law, and resolutely and severely criticise dereliction of duty in supervision", he said. It added some regional disease control agencies had suspended some of its other vaccines.

There were no reports of injuries due to the rabies vaccine, but the disclosure has ricocheted around social media, touching a raw nerve for Chinese parents.

Eight provinces or cities immediately announced they would be stopping or suspending the use of human rabies vaccine from Changsheng, while another four claimed they had never used it.

Changsheng Biotechnology, the Chinese vaccine maker accused of falsifying data, plunged deeper into crisis on Tuesday as both police and the country's top graft watchdog launched investigations into the firm.

"The company will learn a lesson and take practical corrective measures and rectify thoroughly", the statement said.

The authorities condemned the Changsheng Biotech to pay 3.4 million yuan ($ 502,200).

The state-run Global Times also weighed in, saying the case had "sparked nationwide outrage, (and) could pose serious challenges for a domestic industry that has seen rapid growth in recent years but experienced a series of scandals".

President Xi Jinping, on a trip to Africa, has responded forcefully to the latest scandal involving a major mainland pharmaceutical company, which led to sub-standard vaccines being given to children.

The state-run China Daily called on the government to be "transparent" in handing the scandal.

In 2008, about 300,000 Chinese infants became sick after drinking tainted milk formula, triggering a countrywide rush to buy internationally-produced baby products in Hong Kong and overseas.

This function is also available in other Alibaba-developed applications such as e-commerce platforms Taobao and T-mall and AliHealth.

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