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Yunnan probes new case in vaccine scandal

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Authorities in Southwest China's Yunnan Province are investigating a case involving a girl injected with an expired rabies vaccine, the latest development in the substandard vaccine scandal that renewed public concerns on Wednesday.

Yunnan Province's Health and Family Planning Commission announced on its website on Tuesday that it had sent investigators to Wuhua district to look into the case involving a girl given an expired Vero-cell rabies vaccine.

A picture of the vaccine bottle the girl provided showed it was produced by China's second-largest rabies vaccine maker, Changchun Changsheng Life Sciences, a company at the center of the scandal, and accused last week of forging production data and violating standards in making Vero-cell rabies vaccines.

The Wuhua health commission suspended the clinic, according to Hongxing News, a Sichuan-based newspaper affiliated to Chengdu Business Daily.

Another incident also allegedly involving substandard vaccines was identified in Northwest China's Shaanxi Province.

The vice mayor of Shangluo, Shaanxi Wu Wengang, apologized in a press release on Tuesday for three clinics in the city found to have poor vaccine management.

They also failed to register information on vaccines in accordance with laws and regulations, people.cn reported.

Wu said that individuals identified for misconduct would be held accountable.

These incidents once again raised concerns on social media, with many urging authorities to enhance vaccine safety.

Children in Shangluo had been injected with expired vaccines since 2015, and the number of victims was rising, internet user buzhengjingshushu posted at online forum Baidu Tieba and other forums.

The scandal reflects "problems with supervisory mechanisms," said Zhou Zijun, a professor at Peking University's School of Public Health.

China has laws and regulations for managing vaccines and should strengthen penalties against enterprises and individuals, Zhou told the Global Times on Wednesday.

Accountability mechanisms should also be established and enterprises should be held responsible for treating victims, Zhou said.



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