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The Vaccine Scandal in China

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One of China’s major vaccine makers, Changchun Changsheng Bio-technology, supplied faulty mandatory vaccines to infants and children and fabricated data for rabies vaccine production. However, parents were kept in the dark as the government censors hided the news. This shook public faith in immunizations and the government’s credibility. The purpose of this essay investigates the reasons behind the scene and makes advices to vaccine safety in terms of inspections on China vaccine production.

China attaches importance to economic development but overlooks the medical supervision. In 2013, Chinese president, Xin Jinping pledged to ascend the middle classes, in other words, he aimed to increase national economic strength. Of the vaccines available in China, the majority were solely made by Chinese pharmaceutical companies with preference given. As the domestic firms dominated the vaccine market, market competition was inactivated. It was realized that producers might turn to focus on earning profits. Since citizens mainly relied on the local vaccination, they had never thought of being betrayed by providing with substandard vaccines, especially for the youngest generations. When the effectiveness of vaccines against diseases became indubitable and vaccines were broadly used, society was reluctant to impose unnecessary risks on healthy children. Ellenberg and Chen (1997) mentioned that “even the largest pre-marketing studies, however, are inadequate to access a vaccine potential to induce infrequent but serious reaction”. China should strengthen the coordination of supervision and follow-up inspections to safeguard public health and monitor vaccination coverage. The inspection teams should highlight importance in identifying the authenticity of production, laboratory records and paperwork required before market release. This can guarantee consistency and prevent data errors. If Chinese-made vaccines can be assured its safety and quality standard with strict surveillance, the acceptance of Chinese vaccination will be increased.

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Having analyzed the driving force behind the vaccine scandal, I have learnt the significance of inter-communication and cooperation in a country. Several parties were involved in the China vaccine incident, and they were somehow interrelated and had domino effect. Furthermore, the scandal can involve in the global chain, delving into partnerships between China and foreign countries so that win-win situation can be obtained to improve the China vaccination. If each party could do good, this would help minimize the risk and prevent from suffering loss. In fact, this concept can apply in not only national affairs, but also an individual’s life.

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