The State Council executive meeting, presided over by Premier Li Keqiang on April 13, received an investigation report on illegal sales of problematic vaccines in Jinan, Shandong province, and passed an amendment to the regulations on Management regarding the Circulation of Vaccine and Vaccine’s Prevention and Inoculation.
Premier Li said that vaccine quality affects the health of people, especially children and teenagers. This is a red line that cannot be crossed.
When the Shandong case broke in March this year, Premier Li immediately instructed related ministries and departments to strengthen coordination and investigation. A joint investigation group was set up, and a supervision group was dispatched by the State Council.
At the meeting, the official in charge reported that 192 criminal cases were put on record nationwide, and 202 people were arrested on criminal charges. Related officials from the Food and Drug Administration, National Health and Family Planning Commission and governments of 17 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities will be held accountable. A total of 357 public servants have been dismissed or demoted.
“How can these problematic vaccines be transported to so many places and not be discovered for so long?” Premier Li said. “Besides being illegal, it also shows some officials’ lack of responsibility.” He stressed enhancing supervision while delegating power.
“The case shows that approval is not enough. It is important to improve supervision and establish a long-term vaccine management system,” Premier Li said.
The Premier stressed that the vaccine case not only affects people’s health, but also affects public trust in the government and products made in China. He required related ministries and departments to make a plan to improve the quality of consumer goods.
Premier Li also stressed that the government should respond to public concerns instantly. “If it is rumor, we should investigate and clarify at once. If the problem is complicated and no conclusion has come out, we should tell the public that the government has discovered the problem, is dealing with it, and will publish the result as soon as possible,” he said.