China Mass Measles Vaccination Plan Sparks Outcry After High-school Student’s Sudden Death
Posted by Author on September 19, 2010
Christina Maria, secretchina.com, 18/09/2010 –
The death of a seventh-grader, Luo Yunfeng, two days after he received measles vaccination escalated the anxiety and distrust of parents of Chinese government’s latest proposal – to vaccinate 100 million children. That plan has led to public outcry that highlights widening public distrust of the authoritarian government after repeated health scandals. Internet comments allude to a conspiracy theory – the people are worried about the safety of such widespread vaccinations. Is the medicine safe? Is it counterfeit? Is it dangerous?
Jiang Yalin, representative of “Kidney Stone Babies” said in an interview, “The Ministry of Health first said that all the vaccine is made in China. People can rest assured. Then people started to ask, ‘Since when did China produce such a large amount of vaccine? Where was it produced?’ Then the Ministry said that the U.S. had joined the efforts. The vaccine has gone through two processes. Their statements contradict to each other and really suspicious. ”
The state media has even covered public skepticism, which noted the lack of trust was about more than vaccines.
“Behind the public’s panic over the rumors is an expression of the citizens’ demands for security and a crisis in confidence,” a columnist wrote in the Chongqing Daily newspaper.
“The lack of trust toward our food and health products was not formed in one day,” said the Global Times newspaper. “Repairing the damage and building credibility will take a very long time. The public health departments need to take immediate action on all fronts.” He alluded to the SARS epidemic that was largely hushed up; to bird flu, and the latest, an outbreak of cholera. The people deeply mistrust the communist leadership system.
Milk products contaminated with industrial chemicals are still found despite mass recalls and several criminal convictions, including executions, after tainted infant formula sickened 300,000 babies and killed at least six, two years ago. How do people know the measles vaccine is not tainted? Feeding into worries about the measles vaccine were media reports in March that vaccines for encephalitis, hepatitis B and other diseases possibly killed four children and seriously sickened dozens in one province.
Two Chinese vaccine makers recently said they shut operations after rabies vaccines they produced were found to be substandard. It is customary for the government to use media to promote, attempting to lull the public into compliance.
The proposed campaign, likely the world’s largest, targets all children ages 8 months to 4 or 14 years, depending on locality, and is intended to include remote areas, migrant communities and other places where previous vaccination coverage has been spotty. But people wonder and are asking: ‘Is there an outbreak of the disease? Are previous vaccinations not working? Are the people in the government trying to make money from this?'” newspaper commentator Wei Yingjie said in an interview.
“This campaign would have been no problem in the Mao era, but today we know with globalization, the Internet, the information explosion, this increasingly assertive Chinese civil society wants to participate in the public policy process,” said Yanzhong Huang, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.
Despite previous vaccination drives, China recorded 52,000 measles cases last year, including 39 deaths. The infection rates mean China is far from meeting its national pledge from 2005 – to eradicate measles by 2012.
- Click to email (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
- Share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)
- Click to print (Opens in new window)
This entry was posted on September 19, 2010 at 8:40 am and is filed under China, Health, Life, News, People, Social, Student, World. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.