The People's Perspective on Medicine

Chinese-Made Vaccines Caught in Scandal

Chinese parents are distressed about a scandal entailing vaccines meant to protect children. The manufacturer falsified data so no one would know they were ineffective.

Chinese manufacturers are embroiled in a domestic scandal. Regulators in China have discovered serious problems with vaccine production.

What Is the Chinese Vaccine Scandal?

At least two companies have been accused of selling substandard vaccines, and the government has arrested 18 individuals. In one case, the makers of children’s vaccines falsified their records to sell products that might not be effective. This included a rabies vaccine as well as a quarter of a million doses of DPT. These injections are supposed to protect against whooping cough, diphtheria and tetanus.

India had been importing the rabies vaccine and now has halted those imports. India’s drug regulatory agency is preparing a report on the incident with an eye to instituting a recall.

Another company evidently was distributing inferior vaccines as a result of unintentional equipment malfunction. That firm has recalled and destroyed more than 400,000 doses of the bad vaccine.

How Will This Lapse Affect China’s Children?

No one knows how many children have already received shots of the ineffective vaccines. Nor does there appear to be a way of tracking which children might be affected. Will there be epidemics of whooping cough or diphtheria as a result? Only time will tell.

Do Chinese Parents See Bad Vaccines as a Scandal?

The Chinese public is outraged. Parents have staged protests outside government buildings in Beijing. Such behavior is unusual in China due to fear of repercussions. Nevertheless, parents are calling for greater government transparency regarding the vaccine situation.

Doctors in Hong Kong are stocking up on vaccines from foreign pharmaceutical companies to accommodate growing demand from mainland parents. Some parents have already spent thousands of dollars to make the trip, just to be safe. Perhaps this scandal, along with the problems that have surfaced regarding valsartan, will provide Chinese regulators with motivation to oversee pharmaceutical manufacturing in China a lot more carefully.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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Not clear where vaccines were made? China or India or both . We get alot of our drugs from India! The U.S. needs to regulate it better. Better to make drugs in the USA like in the old days ^.^

Is the new shingles vaccine, Shingrix, manufactured in China?

It boggles my mind why we, as a nation of high pharmaceutical standards, employ Chinese industry, to produce our medicines and drugs.

Medications from China should be covered with tarriffs so that we can ramp up domestic production, and not label production from Puerto Rico as foreign! Shame on you Congress!

If they don’t care about their own children, why would they care about the quality of ANYTHING they send to the United States?

My thoughts exactly!!!

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