Economics analysis of China vaccine scandal

News headline: China vaccine scandal: 37 arrested

Source: BBC News

Publishing date: 23 March 2016


1. Summary: 

Thirty-seven people have been arrested in eastern China over a huge vaccine scandal, state media report.

The estimated $88m (£61m) worth of vaccines were not properly refrigerated or transported.

The scandal has led to a crackdown, with checks ordered on vaccine makers, wholesalers and buyers.

The ring is alleged to have involved hundreds of people across 20 provinces.

Three pharmaceutical companies are being investigated, Xinhua reports, citing people handling the case. One, Shandong Zhaoxin Bio-tech Co, has been ordered to suspend operations, it added.

“It is important to note, however, that improperly stored or expired vaccine seldom if ever causes a toxic reaction. Therefore there is likely to be minimal safety risk in this particular situation,” the WHO said.

A vaccine is a preventive biological product for human use that prevents and controls the occurrence and prevalence of infectious diseases, so the demand for such products is relatively rigid.


China vaccine scandal refers to March 2016, Shandong police solve the case of estimated 570-million-yuan worth of illegal vaccines without strict sold-chain storage transport and sold to 24 provinces and cities. These vaccines containing 25 kinds of children and adult’s vaccine.


Infectious diseases since ancient times is one of the greatest threats to human survival and the invention of the vaccines has changed all of that. Therefore, the outbreak of the scandal affected the trust of Chinese people to the vaccines and relevant departments. 

There are several stringent requirements during the vaccine production to transportation management and then to vaccination, each step also has a corresponding regulatory agencies.

However, in this case, many steps are serious violation, regulators are almost non-existent. There are no relevant departments to take immediate measures to reduce losses after the incident and the media has a long time silence. For those families which in the needs of vaccination is a kind of unspeakable difficult.

According to the statistics, China’s annual vaccination is one billion times. This is a staggering figure. The children in China need to be vaccinated 22 kind of vaccine before the primary school. According to the Center for Disease reported vaccine adverse reaction probability is one per million, although the probability is very small but for the affected families are absolutely a disaster. Nowadays, the illegal vaccine means that in over 1000 children will suffering from vaccine complications and left permanently disabled—supply–demand-competitive-landscape-and-market-prices-of-10-product-segments-300060140.html


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