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Chinese Officials Report Vaccine did not Kill Children

Update Date: Jan 03, 2014 02:08 PM EST

17 children from China died shortly after being vaccinated with the hepatitis vaccine. After safety concerns rose regarding the vaccine, Chinese officials have reported that nine of the deaths were clearly not related to the vaccine. Eight of the other cases are currently in the midst of an investigation but officials stated that the preliminary investigation suggested that they were also not related to the vaccine.

The children had been vaccinated as a part of a program backed by the Chinese government. When news of the children's death surfaced, safety concerns immediately rose since the country has been known for poor regulations. Recently, China had to deal with faulty vaccines for encephalitis, hepatitis B and other diseases after they were improperly stored.

According to China's National Health and Family Planning Commission, the 17 deaths occurred between December 13 and the 31. The vaccine in question was for liver disease hepatitis B. The officials reported that the nine deaths, which occurred in children under five-years-old that were confirmed to be unrelated to the vaccine, were caused by acute pneumonia, kidney failure, suffocation, severe diarrhea, sudden infant death, congenital heart disease, and death of intestinal tissue. The nine children came from nine different provinces.

Despite the report, the China Food and Drug Administration stated that drug manufacturing company, Biokangti based in Shenzhen, had to suspend production due to its failure to meet the new safety regulations and quality standards. Two other companies that produce hepatitis B vaccines had to suspend production as well. The companies are allowed to resume after they get the new certification.

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