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China probes vaccine maker as scandal widens

27 July 2018

While there have been no apparent reports of people being harmed by the vaccine or having contracted rabies after receiving it, the regulator has already ordered Changsheng to halt production and recall all its vaccines.

Trading in its shares will be suspended on Wednesday and resume on Thursday.

The Municipal People's Procuratorate of Changchun City in Jilin Province set up a special team on Monday to work with the police to probe the vaccine production of Changchun Changsheng Life Sciences Limited (Changchun Changsheng).

The vaccine is part of the national mandatory program and an unconfirmed number of children have been given the questionable drugs, authorities said, provoking widespread outrage and concern.

The Chinese population is not a fan of this situation either, and they have been expressing their opinions on the Sina Weibo microblog gathering using a hashtag which was mentioned by over 600 million views.

The WHO has also offered to support vaccine manufacturers in China to ensure that they comply with worldwide standards and meet WHO pre-qualification expectations.

"If nothing is done to manage online public discourse, it could become a festering gateway leading the country toward chaos and creating serious unpredictability".

Help was offered to parents concerned about whether the vaccines their children received are involved in the scandals.

Authorities in China have ordered the arrest of no less than 15 people on "suspicion of criminal offenses" over a vaccine scandal involving a pharmaceutical manufacturer Changchun Changsheng Biotechnology.

Etched into public memory is the 2008 scandal in which several infants died after industrial chemical melamine was added to milk powder to raise protein levels artificially. In 2016, Chinese police busted a gang for selling around $90 million worth of illegal vaccines on the black market.

Last week, European regulators found that a common blood pressure and heart drug manufactured in bulk by Chinese firm Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical may have contained an impurity linked to cancer since 2012. She has previously been identified as Gao Junfang.

The regulator will also conduct a production review of every vaccine maker in the country to contain potential risks, the statement said.

Another company Wuhan Institute of Biological Products was also implicated in the DPT vaccine issue.

The Chinese government is turning to censorship and appeals for calm, amid mounting public anger following revelations earlier this week that one of the country's largest vaccine makers had violated safety standards.

China probes vaccine maker as scandal widens