Over 650,000 faulty vaccines recalled
by Wang Zhicheng

The doses intended to vaccinate against diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus. Drugs sold by state-owned firms before verifying their effectiveness. Corruption in the world of medicine


Beijing (AsiaNews) - More than 650,000 doses of vaccines to be administered to children are ineffective and for this reason they have been withdrawn by the National Institute for Food and Drug Control, which warns that they are not, however, harmful to health.

The recalled vaccines were supposed to immunize against diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus (DFT). Dft doses were withdrawn from Shandong, Hebei, and Chongqing Province.

During some test inspections, the Institute acknowledged that the vaccines did not work properly. According to Xinhua some vaccines have already been shipped and used. The authorities are investigating the incident to see who the perpetrators are. The State Institute has provided an emergency telephone number to give information to relatives who have given the vaccine to their children.

China began to vaccinate children against DFT in the 1970s and has almost eradicated these three diseases.

It is unclear how the doses were distributed before the Institute checks. The vaccines were produced by two companies: Changchun Changsheng Biotech, which sold them to the Government Control Center for Disease Prevention and Control; and a Wuhan Institute, which is part of a state pharmaceutical firm.

China has been fighting against corruption in the world of medicine for decades. The same head of the National Health Institute has been involved with convictions for having licensed medicines that are then found to be ineffective or harmful. In recent years there have also been scandals linked to HIV-infected blood donations, but government offices guaranteed quality.

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