“There is water added to the vaccine so it did not have any effects.”
Xiaojian’s mom gazed at the laboratory test report of the rabies vaccine and cried. Her son was bitten by a dog 15 days ago and they chose the best rabies vaccine for their son: 700 RMB for 7 shots which is already a huge expense for this rural poor family. Xiaojian died even before the 7 shots were finished. It happened 8 years ago and all the penalty that the company got was several million dollars of fine and 8 years of prison for the manager. What happened after the penalty? Nothing.
“Fake Vaccine”These words have struck China for the past few days. The Changsheng Biotechnology Company which dominates the vaccine industry in China was reported July 15 to have made fake rabies vaccines. Coincidently, it is the same company that was found last Oct. 27 making fake DPT(diphtheria pertussis tetanus) vaccines. DPT is used to treat breathing problem, paralysis, tightening of the muscles and coughing that prevent infants from breathing. What has been done to change things over these 9 months after the report? Nothing.
It is said that the company made it to the market so that it can make more profit. There is nothing wrong with wanting to make money, but things go wrong when it becomes the only thing that people want. Every year, almost the same number of people get vaccines. Therefore, the only way to increase profit is to lower the cost. The Changsheng company bribes the Safety Inspection Authorities and at the same time adds water to certain vaccines so that the price can be cheaper. A cheaper price means it’s more competitive, attracting more customers to buy it and generating more profit. The worst part is that even when people discover the vaccine is fake, the Inspection Authorities can help cover the fact and threaten the local government. It is a chain of lies.
Thing like this hasn’t happened only once in China. There was fake milk powder that incorporated chemical material in 2008, making children suffer from kidney stones or even die eventually. The life of children is always sacrificed by those companies which are mesmerized by money. Children are the future but also the most vulnerable group of the country. Nowadays, Chinese parents feel extremely insecure since they don’t know what is safe for their kids. They don’t know the truth and whom to believe.
Before, they chose to buy expensive milk powder imported from other countries and now they start to consider whether they should take their kids to get vaccines outside of China. Public healthcare is the base line of all the people and it seems like China is already breaking it. Actually, it is more than just fake powder or vaccines. Things like these reveal the corruption and irresponsibility of Chinese people, the incompleteness of Chinese supervision and the legal system. What would have happened if 8 years ago the company had been forced to shut down and the chief executive put into prison for life? What would have happened if the Inspection Department had blocked the substandard vaccines? Things would have changed.
When news of fake vaccines went viral on social media, the Chinese government asserted that it did not want further discussions or reports and wanted to do the investigation by itself. Therefore, some articles about the vaccines were deleted and people were not allowed to talk openly about it anymore. This is the problem of how China deals with issues. People talk a lot on social media for several days, expressing their opinion and waiting for the authorities to give solutions. However, after the heat has gone and the ban from the government, nobody is interested in the issue anymore and the crowd disperses. There may be people still seeking for answers but as the time goes by, they give up as they know that there is never a clear answer from the government. Gossips and news about pop stars reappear in social media.
On 27th of July, the Council of Government reported huge progress in the investigation and has almost gotten the truth from the Changsheng Company. It is at least a positive sign and hopefully things will end differently than before, giving people a clearer solution and parents a brighter future to expect for their kids.