China dismisses top officials over sub-par vaccines

By Ben Hargreaves

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/Z_Wei)
(Image: Getty/Z_Wei)

Related tags China Vaccines WHO

A number of officials related to the Changsheng Biotechnology vaccine scandal have been relieved of their positions by China’s government.

The fallout from an investigation into improperly manufactured rabies vaccine​ continues to rumble on in China, as state media announced a number of officials have been removed from their posts​.

The dismissals include Ding Jianhua, who headed two departments at the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA). Local media reported that Liu Changlong, major of the city of Changchun, where Changsheng Biotechnology is based, has also lost his position.

All told, state media suggests that more than 40 officials have been held accountable for the failure to correctly oversee procedure at Changsheng.

Manufacturing concerns cited by authorities include Changsheng-made rabies vaccines, that had been delivered to children but found to be ineffective.

It was also discovered that Changsheng had produced 499,800 substandard doses of the diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus (DPT) vaccine.

The company has been accused of falsifying data related to its products, triggering a public backlash that the Chinese government has countered with an investigation of the company and the wider vaccine industry.

In addition, the CFDA reported that it has held conversations with the World Health Organisation​ (WHO) relating to the wider recall of the products produced by Changsheng.

The integrity of the pharmaceutical industry in China has been called into question by both this scandal and the valsartan affair, which has seen two Chinese active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) suppliers, Zhejiang Huahai and Zhejiang Tianyu, come under fire from the global regulatory network​.

Both were found to have produced active substances containing N-nitrosodimethylamine, a probable carcinogen, later used to produce valsartan-containing medication, leading to global recalls of the affected products.

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