Tuesday, Apr 25, 2017, 7:01 AM CST – China

News Brief

Society

Vaccine Scandal

Shandong Province police recently shut down a large-scale vaccine peddling operation responsible for the illegal sale of vaccines valued at more than US$41.3 million.

Police said that over the past five years, the two main suspects, a mother and daughter surnamed Pang, have allegedly illegally accumulated 25 types of Class II vaccines and delivered them to 24 municipalities and provinces without following proper storage procedures. Given that Class II vaccines are optional and paid for out of pocket, unlike compulsory Class I vaccines, which are provided free of charge by the government, it is hard for the officials to accurately calculate the number of victims.

Experts said that these improper storage methods make vaccines ineffective or at least less effective, but the risk of them being harmful is very low. Still, many people in affected regions have expressed anxiety over not knowing whether or not their vaccinations were efficacious.

Police have so far detained over 100 people allegedly involved in some aspect of the vaccine ring. Given the massive scale of the operation and the relevant government departments’ failure to detect it, both the media and the public have posited that corrupt officials may also have been involved.

On March 22, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang ordered a detailed investigation into the vaccine scandal under the supervision of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate and pledged to hold culpable officials accountable. Chinese media outlets have taken advantage of the uproar to once again urge the government to improve its supervision of vaccine-related departments as well as those departments’ compensation schemes, a demand which had been ignored for years. 

Tags:

Editor's Picks

Sex for Snacks

In cities like Shanghai and Chongqing, a handful of high school…[More]

Worked to Death

A growing number of young Chinese white-collar employees are dying of…[More]

TROTSKY IN CHINA

How Communism’s most controversial theorist finally found an audience – in…[More]

What do Chinese People Want?

“I wish I could do what you do.”…[More]

THE HERMIT HUNTER

A student of Buddhism with a keen interest in China’s…[More]

Prize Fighter

Elevated into the State-approved pantheon of great Chinese writers thanks to…[More]

Dams in Distress

In 1975, over 60 dams collapsed after a rainstorm in Zhumadian city, Henan…[More]

Pathologically Politicized

Practitioners at all levels concur that “messy” is the word that…[More]

HIVE MINDED

China’s indigenous honey bee is under threat from both environmental…[More]

The New Class

China’s growing online education market has attracted the attention of…[More]

Exam Boot Camp

A middle school in Anhui province has earned a reputation for…[More]

From Stall to Mall

Taobao’s shift towards a business-to-consumer model has come at a…[More]

In Whose Court?

The failure of the country’s administrative litigation system has prompted…[More]

Tradition on Trial

After Confucianism made the maintenance of inequality between the sexes fundamental…[More]

Inevitable Brutality

The vicious murder of a doctor in a Zhejiang hospital shows…[More]

Progress or Pornography?

A new sex education primer aimed at elementary school-age children has…[More]

Graft Breeds Graft

The gap between the investigation and prosecution of official corruption cases…[More]

Problem Solved?

Former Politburo member Bo Xilai’s public trial sends mixed messages…[More]

Saving Nature

The concept of animal welfare is yet to be widely acknowledged…[More]

Who Cares?

A new law decrees that all Chinese citizens are now obliged…[More]

BEWILDERING

A 74-year-old man surnamed Xie from Shenyang, Liaoning Province was duped out of 420,000 yuan (US$69,342), despite bank employees’ efforts to…[More]

ANGRY

A policeman pulled his gun to dissuade villagers from stealing oranges…[More]

An Avoidable Tragedy

Poor city planning and lax safety regulations turned a minor gas…[More]

Mean Streets

The chengguan system has become the most visible symptom of a…[More]

How do Chinese people live?

So, the bottom line is that Beijing is an expensive place.…[More]

Back in Action

After stagnating for 10 years, China’s SOE reform has fired up…[More]

THE HANGING DEAD

The hanging coffins of the Bo people, a Chinese ethnic minority…[More]

AMUSING

Wang Xun, an archeologist with Peking University, arranged the bones of…[More]

Trust Trip

Embarking on a three-month car journey around China without handing over…[More]

Fading Lights

For those who grew up under the bright lights of China…[More]