China says child deaths not linked to hepatitis B vaccine
BEIJING (REUTERS) - Chinese health authorities said they have found no link between a hepatitis B vaccine and the deaths of nine children who had received those shots, state media said on Friday.
China has been investigating 17 deaths following inoculation with a hepatitis B vaccine, made by Shenzhen-based BioKangtai, from Dec 13 and 31. The news alarmed many Chinese Internet users, who called on the government to make more information public.
Many Chinese people are suspicious that the government tries to cover up bad news about health problems, despite assurances of transparency. In 2003, the government initially tried to cover-up the outbreak of the SARS virus.
Nine of the cases have nothing to do with the vaccines, state news agency Xinhua cited the director of the disease control bureau of the National Health and Family Planning Commission, Yu Jingjin, as saying at a press conference.