Changchun Changshen under fire for vaccine scandal-Sino-US


Changchun Changshen under fire for vaccine scandal

Photo: VCG

Changchun Changsheng Bio-technology Co in northeast China's Jilin Province is under fire after it was accused of supplying ineffective DPT (diphtheria, whooping cough and tetanus) vaccines to be used on babies as young as three months old and forging data for its rabies vaccines.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said on Sunday, "The vaccine case has crossed a moral line, and the nation deserves a clear explanation."

"The State Council should immediately send a group to uncover the truth as soon as possible, and any wrongdoing will be severely punished regardless of who is involved," he added.

Taking time from his trip to Africa, Chinese President Xi Jinping said, "The illegal production of vaccines by Changchun Changsheng is vile and appalling. Relevant departments and local authorities should pay close attention and immediately probe the case to find the truth."

"The investigation should be thorough, the punishment severe, the accountability held seriously, and the case's progress should be publicized on time to address public concern," he added.

In response, Changchun Changsheng said, "We feel very remorseful and guilty about what has happened, and we apologize to all those vaccinated, and our investors," adding that, "We will learn a lesson."

The company's Chairwoman Gao Junfang and four senior executives have been taken away by police in Changchun for questioning, according to news website thepaper.cn.

The case has sparked public outcry, with many netizens writing comments under posts published by state-run media such as the Xinhua News Agency, the People's Daily and China Central Television (CCTV) on China's Twitter-like Weibo to lambast Changsheng Changsheng.

"We refuse to accept Changchun Changsheng's apology. If an apology is enough, then us paying taxes to run the public security departments would be meaningless. Companies that ignore the health of people don't deserve our forgiveness," @ Song Xinfu said.

"As a Chinese I am ashamed of Changchun Changshen. Vaccines are life-saving medicines, but the company ignored that very fact and made fake products for huge profits. May be their hearts have been engulfed by mad dogs?" @ Jack Cheung said.

"Relevant government agencies must be held accountable for breach of duty," @ Huaidan Xiaoka said.

The scandal also prompted state media to issue criticism and warnings.

Official news agency Xinhua recently released an editorial to slam Changsheng Changsheng, saying "Let the vaccine safety lawbreakers lose all their fortunes."

"To comfort the people and calm their anger, the relevant departments should reveal the truth and take effective and immediate measures to prevent it from happening again," the People's Daily said.

It is not the first time that China's medicine industry is embroiled in a scandal.

In 2016, a total of 570 million yuan worth of improperly stored or expired drugs were discovered to have been sold across the country over several years.


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