Wang Keqin. Photo by health.hebei.com.cn
Yet another health scandal, but what’s new in China? Wang Keqin, one of China’s best investigative journalists, reported on March 17 how a gross failure to refrigerate vaccines had led to the deaths of four children and the illness of at least 74 others in Shanxi province. Ironically, the vaccines had been deliberately left unrefrigerated to prevent stickers displaying the government’s quality assurance from peeling off.
Chief editor Bao Yuehang of the China Economic Times for 15 years has been sacked for staunchly defending Wang’s report.
According to Wang’s report, Shanxi Center for Disease Control made a deal with a businessman for 3.8 million yuan in exchange for exclusive rights to the sale and distribution of vaccines in Shanxi Province. Fixing the market with the blessing of a provincial government body, this enterprise was able to draw in an estimated 120 million yuan over two years. Not a bad return on your investment eh?