In a statement, China’s State Council announced a second batch of diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus (DPT) vaccines, produced by Changchun Changsheng Biotechnology, had been discovered to be “substandard” — 247,200 injections in total.
The vast majority had been sold to provincial authorities in Shandong, in China’s northeast, and some had already been administered to children, the statement said. But it insisted that other than being ineffective they were not dangerous in any way.
“The National Health Commission and the State Drug Administration have planned revaccinations for the children who had been (injected) with the substandard DPT vaccines,” the statement said.
“My home country, how can I trust you? You just let me down again and again,” one user said.
The Chinese government, including President Xi Jinping, pledged quick action following the backlash, including an immediate investigation.
In a rare display of public dissent, a small group of protestors protested for days at the end of July outside Chinese government buildings in Beijing, including the National Health Commission.
The ongoing vaccine crisis comes at an unfortunate time for the Chinese government, as it attempts to rebuild domestic and international confidence in the quality of the country’s food and goods after a series of scandals.