Vaccine suspected after China baby deaths

Seven Chinese infants died after receiving hepatitis B vaccinations, prompting a probe into the product.

    China has a history of product safety scandals, most famously the 2008 tainted milk scandal [AP]
    China has a history of product safety scandals, most famously the 2008 tainted milk scandal [AP]

    Chinese health authorities have launched an investigation after seven infants died following routine hepatitis B vaccinations, state media reported.

    Why was this allowed onto the market? The government needs to come clean about this.

    Weibo user

    State news agency Xinhua said on Monday that four of the seven deaths were in the southern province of Guangdong. The other infants died in the south-central province of Hunan and the south-west province of Sichuan.

    All hospitals have been ordered to stop using the vaccine, produced by Shenzhen-based Biokangtai, until the Health Ministry completes its investigation.

    The company said in a statement last week, carried by state media, that it rigorously followed safety rules, but was testing the batches suspected of causing the deaths.

    China has a history of product safety scandals. In 2008 at least six children died from drinking milk contaminated by the chemical melamine.

    Government cover-ups 

    Other reports suggest children have died or become ill from faulty encephalitis, hepatitis B and rabies vaccines.

    Many people have taken to China's popular microblogging site, Sina Weibo, to call for greater government transparency on health issues.

    "Why was this allowed onto the market? The government needs to come clean about this," wrote one Weibo user.

    Many Chinese people suspect their government tries to hide bad news about health problems.

    In 2003, the government attempted to cover-up the SARS virus outbreak.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    The Victorian Muslims of Britain

    The Victorian Muslims of Britain

    The stories of the British aristocrats who converted to Islam.

    Going undercover as a sex worker

    Going undercover as a sex worker

    A photojournalist describes how she posed as a prostitute to follow the trade in human flesh.

    India's shocking farmer suicide epidemic

    India's shocking farmer suicide epidemic

    Falling into a debt-trap and besieged by bad weather, thousands of farmers are taking their own lives each year.