More vaccine problems reported

By Qiu Quanlin (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-03-25 07:47
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GUANGZHOU - Disease control and prevention authorities in Guangzhou have received reports that some children became ill or paralyzed after receiving a vaccine, amid the ongoing vaccine scandal in Shanxi province.

After an initial investigation, some cases in Guangzhou, capital city of Guangdong province, have been suspiciously linked to vaccination, said Wang Ming, director of Guangzhou Disease Control and Prevention Center.

"We conducted a prompt investigation after receiving the reports. As of now, we cannot tell whether the cases are definitely related to vaccinations," Wang told the Guangzhou-based Yangcheng Evening News on Wednesday.

Further investigation is needed to prepare a thorough assessment, according to Wang.

In a recent case, Xian Weijian, a 10-year-old student in the Baiyun district, found he could not stand on his left leg the night after he received an H1N1 flu vaccine at school on Monday.

Xian was one of up to 1,000 students who received vaccines at the school that day. The rest did not develop any illness or uncomfortable symptoms.

"My son did not have any health problems before receiving the vaccine. There has to be some problems with the vaccine," Xian's father said.

Xian has been sent to Guangzhou Children's Hospital for further treatment.

"If cases are found to be related to the vaccine, we will conduct further investigation and seriously punish the people involved," Wang said.

The initial investigation report has been submitted to government authorities, but Huang Sui, a press official with Guangzhou health bureau, said no date has been set for the publication of the report.

Guangzhou mayor Zhang Guangning also urged related departments to conduct a thorough investigation into the cases on Tuesday after receiving a call from a local woman.

The mother claimed that her son, 15, had developed paralysis in his legs after receiving a H1N1 vaccine last year.

"He became paralyzed after receiving a vaccine. How can we believe that his problem has nothing to do with the vaccination?" she asked.

(China Daily 03/25/2010 page4)