• Monthly
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $other
  • use PayPal

ONE WEEK TO DOUBLE YOUR DONATION!

We are inching along, but not as quickly as we (or you) would like. If you have already donated, thank you so much. If you haven’t had a chance, consider skipping the coffee this week and drop CounterPunch $5 or more. We provide our content for free, but it costs us a lot to do so. Every dollar counts.
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Chinese Government Must Act on Vaccine Issues

A recent scandal on the manufacturing of the rabies vaccines is just one more example of how some pharmaceutical firms put their profits before people’s health in China. This shows the need for the Chinese government to fully investigate the problem and punish those responsible for this abuse.

On July 15, the State Drug Administration discovered that Changchun Changsheng Bio-tech Co. altered its manufacturing records for the human rabies vaccines, because they have been rendered less effective. This was not the first time that this company had done something illegal. Last October, it was found that the company had produced “junk” diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus (DPT) vaccines, for which it was punished on July 20, 2018.

Last year, the company received a subsidy of 48.33 million yuan ($7.15 million). This is more than 10 times the fine it received after it was found to have produced defective batches of the DPT vaccines. This huge subsidy raises the question of possible collusion between the company and government officials, particularly since the company wasn’t apparently affected by this action.

In unvaccinated children who get serious cases of diphtheria, the toxin spreads through the blood stream and cause life threatening damage to heart and kidneys, nerve damage and paralysis. One in 10 children who get diphtheria dies from it. Children infected with the bacteria which causes tetanus may develop headaches, and have spasms and a tightening of the jaw muscle, which is why this disease is called “lockjaw”. Children who develop whooping cough have uncontrollable coughing spells which may last for more than a minute. Before the vaccine became available, whooping cough killed between 5,000 and 10,000 people every year.

In China, the DPT vaccine, which protects children from diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough, is part of the country’s national immunization program. Children are required to have this vaccine –which will protect them throughout childhood- for school admittance. If vaccinations cease, or ineffective vaccines are used, many more children would get those diseases.

Of the questionable DPT vaccines made by the Changchun Changsheng company, 252,600 doses were sold to Shadong province. Health authorities there started revaccinating children who had been injected with the defective vaccines and reported no major health consequences on those children.

According to the Chinese Center For Disease Control and Prevention, the leading public health agency in the country, China is the world’s biggest vaccine producer. More than 40 Chinese manufacturers produce 63 kinds of vaccines which can prevent 34 diseases. In the Chinese market, more than 90 percent of vaccines sold are made domestically.

If this recent vaccine crisis leads many parents to stop vaccinating their children, this could create a serious public health problem, since children would no longer be protected against frequent childhood diseases.

The government has created a special team to investigate this issue, which goes from vaccine production and marketing to their use in children. Government officials have promised to keep the public informed about the results of these investigations. Because this is not the first time that this problem has occurred, however, this indicates that there are structural loopholes that need to be analyzed and the culprits punished if the problem is going to be solved.

This recent episode shows that vaccine production should be closely controlled by the State. A restructuring of the whole production, supervision and marketing systems is imperative. Children’s health shouldn’t be subject to the greed of vaccine manufacturers and corrupt government officials.

More articles by:

Dr. Cesar Chelala is a co-winner of the 1979 Overseas Press Club of America award for the article “Missing or Disappeared in Argentina: The Desperate Search for Thousands of Abducted Victims.”

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
October 21, 2019
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Wolf at the Door: Adventures in Fundraising With Cockburn
Rev. William Alberts
Myopic Morality: The Rehabilitation of George W. Bush
Sheldon Richman
Let’s Make Sure the Nazis Killed in Vain
Horace G. Campbell
Chinese Revolution at 70: Twists and Turns, to What?
Jim Kavanagh
The Empire Steps Back
Ralph Nader
Where are the Influentials Who Find Trump Despicable?
Doug Johnson Hatlem
Poll Projection: Left-Leaning Jagmeet Singh to Share Power with Trudeau in Canada
Thomas Knapp
Excuses, Excuses: Now Hillary Clinton’s Attacking Her Own Party’s Candidates
stclair
Taking Next Steps Toward Nuclear Abolition
Brian Terrell
The United States Air Force at Incirlik, Our National “Black Eye”
Paul Bentley
A Plea for More Cynicism, Not Less: Election Day in Canada
Walter Clemens
No Limits to Evil?
Robert Koehler
The Collusion of Church and State
Kathy Kelly
Taking Next Steps Toward Nuclear Abolition
Charlie Simmons
How the Tax System Rewards Polluters
Chuck Collins
Who is Buying Seattle? The Perils of the Luxury Real Estate Boom
Weekend Edition
October 18, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Anthony DiMaggio
Trump as the “Anti-War” President: on Misinformation in American Political Discourse
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Where’s the Beef With Billionaires?
Rob Urie
Capitalism and the Violence of Environmental Decline
Paul Street
Bernie in the Deep Shit: Dismal Dem Debate Reflections
Andrew Levine
What’s So Awful About Foreign Interference?
T.J. Coles
Boris Johnson’s Brexit “Betrayal”: Elect a Clown, Expect a Pie in Your Face
Joseph Natoli
Trump on the March
Ashley Smith
Stop the Normalization of Concentration Camps
Pete Dolack
The Fight to Overturn the Latest Corporate Coup at Pacifica Has Only Begun
Jeremy Kuzmarov
Russophobia at Democratic Party Debate
Chris Gilbert
Forward! A Week of Protest in Catalonia
Daniel Beaumont
Pressing Done Here: Syria, Iraq and “Informed Discussion”
Daniel Warner
Greta the Disturber
John Kendall Hawkins
Journey to the Unknown Interior of (You)
M. G. Piety
“Grim Positivism” vs. Truthiness in Biography
Christopher Fons – Conor McMullen
The Centrism of Elizabeth Warren
Nino Pagliccia
Peace Restored in Ecuador, But is trust?
Rebecca Gordon
Extorting Ukraine is Bad Enough But Trump Has Done Much Worse
Kathleen Wallace
Trump Can’t Survive Where the Bats and Moonlight Laugh
Clark T. Scott
Cross-eyed, Fanged and Horned
Eileen Appelbaum
The PR Campaign to Hide the Real Cause of those Sky-High Surprise Medical Bills
Olivia Alperstein
Nuclear Weapons are an Existential Threat
Colin Todhunter
Asia-Pacific Trade Deal: Trading Away Indian Agriculture?
Sarah Anderson
Where is “Line Worker Barbie”?
Brian Cloughley
Yearning to Breathe Free
Jill Richardson
Why are LGBTQ Rights Even a Debate?
Jesse Jackson
What I Learn While Having Lunch at Cook County Jail
Kathy Kelly
Death, Misery and Bloodshed in Yemen
Maximilian Werner
Leadership Lacking for Wolf Protection
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail