04/29/2024, 16.05
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Disgraced chief scientist of China's covid vaccine expelled from the People's Congress

The fate of Yang Xiamong, the chairman of the China National Biotec Group, went viral on Weibo. According to official media, he is accused of "serious discipline and law violations”. Since last summer, China’s pharmaceutical sector been one of the most affected by the anti-corruption campaign with hundreds of officials under investigation.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The chairman of China National Biotec Group, Sinopharm’s research arm that developed the anti-COVID vaccine used in China, has lost his post in the National People's Congress, the highest body of state power in the People's Republic of China with 3,000 members.

State media announced the expulsion of Yang Xiaoming, 62, over the weekend, for “serious discipline and law violations," an expression usually used for people under investigation for corruption.

Yang had headed the Sinopharm team that developed the BBIBP-CorV, the first vaccine approved in China and massively used in 2021 during the vaccination campaign.

With an efficacy rate of 79 per cent against hospitalisation according to the World Health Organisation, the vaccine was distributed in millions of doses to other countries, becoming an asset in health cooperation for Beijing despite much lower results compared to mNRA vaccines.

In addition to developing Sinopharm's Covid vaccine, Yang was also leading China's vaccine project under the 863 programme, which aims to make the country more independent by developing advanced homegrown technologies.

News of Yang's purge went viral on Weibo, China’s foremost microblogging website, with about 180 million views that made it the hottest trend of the day yesterday for several hours,.

For many users, it was an opportunity to talk again about the way the pandemic was handled, although so far there is no official news of a link between the allegations against Yang and the anti-COVID vaccine.

For months China’s health sector has been impacted the most by Xi Jinping's anti-corruption campaign.

Hundreds of hospital deans and secretaries are currently under investigation with serious allegations of corruption against drug suppliers and health providers.

This has had an effect of an earthquake in the healthcare sector, with pharmaceutical A-share stocks falling sharply last August, wiping out an estimated US$ 27 billion in market value in a single day.

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