8 Arrested over Fake Rabies Vaccinations
    2010-09-26 12:03:24     Xinhua      Web Editor: Xu Leiying
 
Eight people have been arrested in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region for producing or selling fake rabies vaccinations which caused the death of a child and threatened more than 1,000 others, local drug authorities said Sunday.

"They will be prosecuted for the fake rabies vaccines in Laibin City," Guangxi's regional drug administration said in a statement.

The statement, which did not name the suspects, said authorities discovered 1,263 fake rabies shots in the two-month period from January. Some 1,214 of the shots had already been used.

The fake shots, found in 13 village hospitals and 20 privately-run clinics in Xinbin District, Laibin City, were reportedly produced by an underground workshop and sold for about 330,000 yuan (48,530 U.S. dollars).

Drug authorities have confiscated all the remaining fake shots.

The vaccine scandal was uncovered in December last year, after the death of four-year-old Ye Xiaojian.

Ye died three weeks after he was bitten by a dog in his home village in Xinbin District.

Ye's father Ye Xiangan said the child received six rabies vaccine shots for 700 yuan at the village clinic. "He had a high fever and couldn't eat or drink after the shots," said Ye.

Local authorities said the boy was the only confirmed victim of the fake shots so far, adding that there have been no other reports of the fake shots causing health problems.

By June, health workers in Laibin had found all the patients who had received the fake shots and had given them a free standard shot.

Rabies has emerged as a major public health issue in China.

Last year China was second only to India in the number of human deaths caused by rabies. Around 2,000 people per year in China die from rabies.
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