China: Censors try to quell scandal about vaccines

Health

Chinese censors have erased Sunday articles and posts criticizing the local pharmaceutical industry, widely criticized on the internet after a new scandal about vaccines.

Health authorities said last week that they stopped production of a rabies vaccine from a major pharmaceutical company in the north-east of the country, Changchun Changsheng Biotechnology, after discovering falsified data. other problems during an inspection.

Changchun Changsheng Biotechnology is the second largest producer of rabies vaccines in China.

The case is part of a series of health and safety scandals that have fueled fears and anger among Chinese public opinion about food safety and medicine and the quality of controls.

Faced with a flurry of criticism, censors have erased many posts on the WeChat messaging, and state-controlled media have tried to take over the case.

On Sunday night, the Chinese health authority CFDA announced that it had ordered the production of the vaccine to be stopped and an investigation opened.

In Beijing, a Disease Control Center official told the local online media The Paper that parents should not worry: “Beijing has no vaccines in question, the public can be quiet.”

The regulatory authorities in Guangdong (south) and Sichuan (south-west), quoted by state-run CCTV television, told the residents that Changsheng’s problem vaccines had not been distributed in their provinces.

CCTV has, however, acknowledged that 250,000 doses of problematic vaccines have been sold in Shandong Province (East).

The body of the Chinese Communist Party, People’s Daily, on Sunday called on the regulators to “act quickly, make an exhaustive investigation and announce measures to calm the public.”

A similar scandal erupted in 2016 in Shandong, where many of the outdated or improperly stored vaccines worth tens of millions of dollars had been sold.

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