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Vaccine scandal probes continue, punishments promised

Yang Wanli
Updated: Aug 16,2018 8:50 AM     China Daily

Investigations into substandard vaccines at Changchun Changsheng Bio-tech Co are continuing after the State Council vowed severe punishment would be given to those responsible for the recent scandal.

An investigative team sent by the State Council said on Aug 15 that it found the company produced two batches of substandard diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough (DTaP) vaccine — 499,800 doses — according to Xinhua News Agency.

Doses from one batch of 252,600 were all sold in Shandong province. Of those, 247,359 had been used and 5,241 were sealed for safekeeping.

Another 247,200 doses from another batch were sold in Shandong and Anhui provinces. Of those, more than 10,000 were sealed by the health department in Shandong and 3,277 were sealed in Anhui.

The team didn’t say whether or not the remaining unsealed doses had been used.

“The investigation will continue, and severe punishment will be given to anyone involved,” the team said.

Moreover, it said, local governments and private parties that neglected their duty will be punished, promising to announce the investigation results in a timely manner.

Nearly 77 percent of children who had taken the first batch of substandard DTaP vaccine have been revaccinated since February, the statement said.

The National Health Commission and the State Drug Administration jointly came up with a revaccination plan for the children who had taken the substandard vaccines. Details have not yet been released.

The statement said that other than the two problem batches, DTaP vaccines from Changsheng were found to be safe.

Along with Changchun Changsheng Bio-tech Co, Wuhan Institute of Biological Products Co in Hubei province was reported to have produced substandard DTaP vaccines last year.

A total of 400,520 doses of substandard vaccine produced by the company were sold to Hebei province and Chongqing municipality.

Changchun Changsheng stopped production of DTaP vaccine last year, according to the State Drug Administration.

The Wuhan company has resumed production after having 30 batches of DTaP vaccine successfully pass testing by the National Institutes for Food and Drug Control.

According to the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the substandard DTaP vaccines will not harm the body, but they won’t provide good immunity.

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