Outrage in China After 250,000 Faulty Vaccines Were Distributed for Children

FILE PHOTO: A nurse prepares a vaccine to be given to a child in a hospital in Beijing, China, April 13, 2016. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj/File Photo – RC163F198750

Chinese Premiere Li Keqiang tried to reassure outraged citizens Monday after one of country’s largest vaccine manufacturers was found to have falsified records and distributed 250,000 faulty vaccines for children, in the latest scandal over suspect medication to hit the country.

Following an investigation, Changchun Changsheng Bio-technology Ltd. was found to have falsified reports regarding the production and inspection of some 113,000 rabies vaccines, according to the South China Morning Post. The disclosure was the company’s second major scandal in a week: just days earlier, a probe by state food and drug regulators announced that Changsheng had distributed more than 250,000 doses of a “substandard” DPT (diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus) vaccine, which was discovered last year.

Changsheng, which produces about 23% of China’s rabies vaccines, was fined 3.4 million yuan (US$502,200) and ordered to halt all rabies vaccine production and recall flawed doses. Investigators are also looking into whether to file criminal charges.

In a statement released Sunday, Premier Li Keqiang said the company’s conduct “violated a moral bottom line,” and he pledged to “resolutely crack down” on threats to public safety, according to the Associated Press. The company expressed its “deepest apology” in a statement.

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SOURCE: TIME, Eli Meixler