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Parents demonstrate in response to Chinese vaccine scandal

Published on 01/08/18 at 10:40am

Concerned parents have begun demonstrating in Beijing in response to the Changsheng Biotechnology vaccine scandal.

More than two dozen protestors gathered outside of the offices of the National Health Commission and the National State Drug Administration in Beijing as they lead a two day demonstration in the Chinese capital. While such open displays of public dissatisfaction have become increasingly rare in the China of the 21st century, the protest has gathered much attention both within China and around the world as anger mounts among Chinese citizens. Speaking to CNN, Amnesty International researcher Patrick Poon noted that “It is very rare to see people risk their own freedom and safety to start or join a protest [in China]”

The protestors, who held signs calling for ‘Justice for the victims’, have called for stricter regulation and greater transparency after it was revealed that more than 250,000 ineffective vaccines had been sold in the province of Shandong.

The recent vaccine scandal has caused widespread disarray in the Middle Kingdom as social media users vented anger on Chinese platforms WeChat and Weibo. While Chairman Xi Jingping described the situation as ‘vile and shocking’, police in the north-eastern city of Changchun arrested 15 Changsheng Biotechnology employees, including Chairwoman Gao Junfang and three other company executives, in response to the scandal that has shaken the Chinese state bureacracy.  

It has also been revealed that a senior official responsible for the immunisation programme in Shandong is in a critical condition following an attempted suicide. Nevertheless, Chinese newspaper the People’s Daily encouraged citizens to remain calm: “Don’t spread panic and anger. Relevant departments must respond in a timely manner with updates,” the paper said.

Louis Goss

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