China says tests of possibly tainted medical product show no HIV

A child receives a vaccination at a hospital in Huaibei eastern China's Anhui province

A child receives a vaccination at a hospital in Huaibei eastern China's Anhui province

In July a year ago, the Chinese Food and Drug Administration found vaccine manufacturer Changseng Biotechnology had violated standards in the production of a rabies vaccine.

No one appears to have contracted HIV, a representative of Jiangxi Provincial Disease Control Centre said. The source of the contaminated serums is still under investigation. Although the presence of HIV antibodies in Shanghai Xinxing's products does not definitively mean that the virus itself is present, the possibility can not be completely ruled out.

A staff member of the health commission in north-west China's Shaanxi province said 10 hospitals had reported back saying they had yet to find any patients who had contracted HIV.

According to China Business Journal, there were a total of 12,226 bottles in the batch, each bottle containing 50 milliliters of plasma, with an expiration date of June 8, 2021.

The Shanghai Food and Drug Administration has ordered the company to suspend operations and launch an emergency recall of the immunoglobulin.

Established in 2000, Shanghai Xinxing is a biotech company specialising in the manufacture and sale of medical blood products.

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Human immunoglobulin is made with human blood plasma and is used to treat a variety of conditions.

China's National Health Commission revealed the discovery when it issued a notice on February 5, demanding that all hospitals immediately suspend the use of the affected batch. "In theory, the risk of HIV transmission exists ... but the chances remain slim". Orders have gone around the country to not use the batch of blood plasma distributed by Shanghai Xinxing Pharmaceutical.

The plasma is used for patients with platelets deficiency as well as for those with chemotherapy infections. Ltd's parent company China Meheco Group in an online statement.

Due to these vaccine scandals, the government consulted the first draft of a vaccine management law in November - allowing people to sue drug makers for punitive damages in cases of serious illness or death or serious illness caused by faulty vaccines.

This is the third big health scandal hitting China since July 2018 when hundreds of children were administered expired polio vaccines.

The NMPA's apparent clearance of the blood plasma treatments on Wednesday came four days after Wu Zhen, the former deputy head of the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) - which oversees the NMPA - was handed over to the judiciary system for investigation by the Communist Party's anti-corruption watchdog in relation to the rabies vaccine scandal.

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