China's top health authority issued a statement on Wednesday in response to a rabies vaccine scandal involving a company that fabricated production records. It urged people to seek rabies vaccines manufactured by other companies.
The National Health Commission said that under the regulations on preventing exposure to rabies, people can choose injections produced by a mix of companies to complete the full vaccination course.
The company said all vaccines of the same type have been recalled from the market
The commission is keeping a close eye on the situation and communicating closely with the State Drug Administration, which made the incident public on Sunday, said Mao Qun'an, the commission's disease control chief.
The administration, the nation's top drug authority, is conducting the investigation, the statement said.
The company being probed is Changchun Changsheng Bio-tech Co in Changchun, Jilin province. During an inspection by the administration, it was found to have serious irregularities, including fudging production records for freeze-dried rabies vaccines for human use.
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The company said on Tuesday that all products involved in the inspection had been sealed off and all vaccines of the same type have been recalled from the market.
After the media exposure, the Shanghai Center for Disease Control and Prevention stopped using rabies vaccines that were produced by the company, according to a statement issued on Monday. Henan province had sealed 140,000 doses of the vaccine as of Tuesday, China National Radio reported.
Some cities in Hainan and Guangdong provinces have announced they will discontinue the company's rabies doses, the CNR report said.
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"A person should get five doses of rabies vaccine, with one dose injected right away and additional doses on the third, seventh, 24th and 28th days," said Zheng Dongyi of the vaccine department at First Hospital of Tsinghua University.
"It's OK to substitute doses from different producers if the vaccines are of the same type. Ideally, we suggest using vaccines produced by one company during the course of treatment," Zheng said. "The same applies to other vaccines, such as hepatitis B vaccines."
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