China Arrests 15 For Vaccine Fraud

Vaccine scandal: Chinese pharma firm chairman arrested, President Xi says its shocking

President Xi Jinping described the scandal as "shocking" and "terrible" and ordered an in-depth investigation into the case.

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.

The Chinese biologics manufacturer at the center of a vaccine scandal said its chairman was taken away by police, signaling that Beijing is intensifying its crackdown on wrongdoing in the industry.

"All my friends are freaking out with this vaccine case, everyone is scared".

The scam has dealt a blow to China's drug regulator and sparked an outrage on social media.

"Yesterday it was milk powder, today vaccines".

In 2008, baby formula produced and fed to infants in China was discovered to be tainted with melamine, a chemical compound mainly for industrial use, affecting tens of thousands of children and provoking widespread panic.

State Food and Drug Administration will review the entire process of Changsheng Bio-technology Co Ltd's vaccine production and sales, it said in a statement posted on its website.

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China's top anti-corruption agency also said Tuesday it will "severely punish" any local regulatory officials found guilty of dereliction of duty in supervising Changsheng. It added some regional disease control agencies had suspended some of its other vaccines.

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

The firm's shares are resume trading tomorrow. They have slumped 47 percent since mid July.

The Changsheng case is the latest in a slew of scandals that has plagued China's pharmaceutical industry in recent years.

A regulator in the northeastern province of Jilin, where Changsheng is based, revealed on Friday that the company had past year sold 252,600 substandard DPT vaccines to inoculate children against diphtheria, whooping cough and tetanus. It also had an amount of 252,600 substandard DPT vaccines sold.

It isn't even the first vaccine scandal China has faced - in 2016, a criminal organization was found to be selling millions of improperly stored vaccines, which had been widely disseminated.

Marina Cui - a 25-year-old mother from the southwestern Yunnan province whose five-month old child took a DPT vaccine last week - said the latest revelations had made her anxious about the overall safety of vaccines. "But unlike in cases of child abuse, the vaccine scandals involve layers and layers of broken regulators and interest groups".

The China Daily editorial published on Monday cautioned the case might possibly become a public health emergency if it is not controlled "in a transparent and reasonable manner".

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