Jinhu govt to in­ves­ti­gate ex­pired vac­cines to chil­dren

Global Times - - FRONT PAGE - By Liu Caiyu

The main­stream me­dia and ex­perts urged im­prove­ment of the vac­cine man­age­ment sys­tem dur­ing the week­end af­ter the lo­cal govern­ment promised to launch a thor­ough in­ves­ti­ga­tion into mis­con­duct as 100 chil­dren in Jinhu county, East China’s Jiangsu Prov­ince re­ceived ex­pired oral vac­cines. Ac­cord­ing to a state­ment re­leased by the Pub­lic Se­cu­rity Bureau of Jinhu on Satur­day,

par­ents whose chil­dren re­ceived ex­pired vac­cines gath­ered in front of the Jinhu govern­ment.

Oth­ers whose chil­dren had not re­ceived ex­pired vac­cines also showed up on Fri­day. They took the op­por­tu­nity to cre­ate trou­ble, spread ru­mors, in­cite peo­ple to gather, block govern­ment gates, block traf­fic and dis­rupt pub­lic or­der. Three peo­ple were ar­rested on Satur­day for stir­ring up trou­ble, the state­ment said.

Tao Lina, a Shang­hai-based vac­cine ex­pert, told the Global Times on Sun­day the on­line vac­cine reg­is­tra­tion sys­tem used by lo­cal health de­part­ments should be held re­spon­si­ble as well for ex­pired vac­cines. “The sys­tem ob­vi­ously failed to alert doc­tors that the vac­cines passed their ex­piry dates or reg­is­tered the wrong ex­piry date.”

The Peo­ple’s Daily, the flag­ship news­pa­per of the Com­mu­nist Party of China, said on Satur­day on Sina Weibo that mis­con­duct has to be in­ves­ti­gated and there is an ur­gent need to im­prove the vac­cine man­age­ment sys­tem.

“Vac­cines are a mat­ter of life and death. They can­not af­ford mis­takes,” the news­pa­per said.

The Jinhu govern­ment promised to form a spe­cial in­ves­ti­ga­tion team and to pro­vide timely in­for­ma­tion af­ter at least 145 chil­dren were given ex­pired po­lio vac­cines.

The Jinhu govern­ment said in a state­ment on Fri­day that the in­ci­dent was caused by “dis­or­derly man­age­ment and staff mis­con­duct.”

Seven­teen peo­ple have been pun­ished so far, in­clud­ing the deputy county head of Jinhu. The lo­cal dis­ci­plinary in­spec­tion de­part­ment also launched an in­ves­ti­ga­tion and promised to hold rel­e­vant peo­ple re­spon­si­ble, the state­ment said.

Ac­cord­ing to an ear­lier an­nounce­ment by the health and fam­ily plan­ning com­mis­sion of Jinhu county on Thurs­day, three peo­ple were re­moved from their posts and five oth­ers were in­ves­ti­gated.

The in­ci­dent be­gan af­ter a batch of po­lio vac­cines with an ex­pi­ra­tion date of De­cem­ber 11, 2018 was ad­min­is­tered orally to chil­dren at Licheng health cen­ter, a county-run health fa­cil­ity in Jinhu, on Jan­uary 7.

The health cen­ter had sealed 69 bot­tles of ex­pired po­lio vac­cines. Each bot­tle pro­vides seven doses. In to­tal 27 ex­pired vac­cines were used be­tween De­cem­ber 12 and Jan­uary 7.

The in­ci­dent sparked pe­ti­tions from par­ents to the Jinhu govern­ment on Fri­day.

The Jinhu govern­ment promised to of­fer free diagnosis for chil­dren who ex­pe­ri­enced dis­com­fort af­ter re­ceiv­ing ex­pired vac­cines, and par­ents can also reg­is­ter at the lo­cal health de­part­ment to in­quire.

Par­ents reached by the Global Times on Sun­day said the use of ex­pired vac­cines in Jinhu dates back 10 years but the prob­lem was only been ex­posed in Jan­uary. Ex­pired vac­cines in­clude not only po­lio vac­cines but DPT, hep­ati­tis B and vari­cella.

The state­ment on Fri­day said the coun­try asked lo­cal health de­part­ments to reg­is­ter in­for­ma­tion on vac­cines by the end of 2016, but the on­line reg­is­tra­tion sys­tem was not up­dated.

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