Victims range in age from three months to four years with fever, skin rashes, colds, and vomiting for months. Health facility applied expired vaccines for at least 10 years, threatening the health of 21,000 children. The government bans media report, calls in riot police.
Jinhu (AsiaNews) – Hundreds of parents staged a protest in front of a public building and in the streets in Jinhu demanding news about vaccines used on their children.
It appears the vaccines used had expired and that at least a hundred children were sick for months as a result, with fever, skin rashes, cold, and vomit (pictures 2 and 3).
Standing in front of the Licheng Health Centre in Jinhu County (Jiangsu), parents asked for explanations. The police tried to contain the crowd but the standoff led to some physical confrontation.
Local reports indicate that at least 145 children, aged three months to four years, were given expired polio vaccines. This has resulted in a police investigation against 17 officials, who were fired and expelled from the party.
Local authorities eventually found that an entire batch of vaccines was used instead of being destroyed.
A County propaganda official, Zhou Guangfeng, told media that this was due to "management confusion, job negligence, and regulatory failure".
Many parents noted that other children in the past suffered from the same symptoms as those experienced by children today. They believe that expired or dangerous vaccines was used for at least ten years. In all, some 21,00 children under the age of 14 might have received useless vaccines.
In many parents, the anger boiled over, with several storming the hospital, demanding that all the clinical files concerning the vaccinations be doublechecked.
Given the situation, the authorities brought in anti-riot police from neighbouring counties to keep public order, and banned regular and social media from spreading "inflammatory" news about vaccines.
China is not new to this kind of scandal. Last July it was revealed that hundreds of thousands of children had received an ineffective vaccine that contained little of the active ingredient. In total, over 250,000 DPT (Diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus) vaccines were made by Changchun Changsheng Bio-technology, a major vaccine manufacturer.