3 health officials fired over use of expired polio vaccines

[Photo/VCG]

Three health officials responsible for 145 babies being given expired oral vaccines were dismissed from their posts in Jinhu county, Jiangsu province, on Wednesday, according to the county's health commission.

From Dec 11 to Jan 7, the babies received expired polio vaccines at a local health center in Licheng township, the commission confirmed.

The three officials are Liu Zhibing, deputy director of the health center; Yang Wanqin, deputy director of the county's center for disease control and prevention; and Han Wei, deputy section chief of one of the departments under the center for disease control and prevention.

"Medical experts in Jiangsu province will be invited to the county to examine the children on Thursday," Zhou Guangfeng, head of the county's publicity department, was quoted by thepaper.cn as saying.

"The government guarantees that any medical problems found during the examinations will be treated. Jinhu County Hospital Group will take responsibility for treating the problems. A remediation plan to revaccinate the children will be created immediately."

The county government put together a major incident and emergency response team to investigate the expired vaccines. Local disciplinary inspection and supervisory committees also participated.

The incident came to light after a father who works at a nearby hospital took his 4-year-old son to the center to be inoculated against polio on Monday. The father checked the vaccine batch number printed on the boy's vaccination record book and found it had expired on Dec 11.

The county has ordered all local health centers to seal expired vaccines, drugs and medical consumables, according to a notice published by the local publicity department. Two more vaccination centers have been established downtown to meet demand from parents.


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