China’s vaccine system has been put to a huge test, with the discovery of around 250,000 faulty vaccines concerning children in China. An investigation in this regard has been launched by the country’s Food and Drug Administration, their target being Changchun Changshen Biotechnology, a vaccine manufacturer, whose rabies vaccine licenses have been revoked, along with a recall concerning all the unused vaccines manufactured by them. Chinese supreme, Xi Jinping, has labeled this incident as “shocking and vile”. The company will be facing official criminal proceedings.
The Changchun police stated that the company’s 5 senior executives, which included the chairwoman, had been put into custody and would be questioned in this grave matter. Chinese citizens have flooded social media with posts outlining their lack of faith on the health system of the country, while also lamenting the apathy of the officials. Pertaining to a nationwide vaccination program, the country’s children were eligible for this drive; however even after the damage repair mode initiated by officials, it is likely that many children’s health would already have been adversely affected. A parent, whose daughter had been vaccinated, said that she had lost faith in the national brands. The vaccines concern those of diphtheria and tetanus (DPT), and rabies, with reports suggesting presence of 113 thousand defective rabies vaccines. The company has been fined around $507,000 for this calamitous mistake. Leading newspapers opined that this would be a huge test for the country’s governance, while also suggesting a need for transparency in the incident in order to satisfy the citizens.
Meanwhile, a movie in China has stirred citizens to discuss issues on the availability and accessibility of cancer-related treatments and drugs. The movie, called “Dying to Survive”, is a true story and involves a businessman afflicted with leukemia, who smuggles drugs from India for himself and other patients. He is ultimately caught and given a 5-year prison sentence. The movie has also been noticed by the Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, who has asked the government to provide more help to the cancer patients. The movie has also proved influential in leading pharma companies to reduce drug prices in China.
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