Parents say they have lost faith in the system after a major drug maker was found to be supplying inferior vaccines that were given to babies as young as three months old, in the latest public health crisis to grip China.
The Jilin Food and Drug Administration revealed the vaccine safety scandal on its website on Friday.
After an investigation, Jilin-based Changchun Changsheng Bio-technology was found to have sold some 252,600 substandard DPT vaccines to the Shandong Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, the agency in charge of public health in a province of about 100 million people.
It was not yet known how many children had been given the inferior vaccines against three infectious diseases – diphtheria, whooping cough and tetanus – through the state-sponsored disease control system.
A WeMedia article published Saturday on social app WeChat stoked public outrage over the public health fiasco. “These vaccines they produced are being injected into you and your kids every day,” read the article, which pointed out that the same powerful individuals who run Changchun Changsheng are also responsible, through their ownership of other companies, for producing a large proportion of the most widely used vaccines in China, including those for hepatitis B, chicken pox, and influenza.