The Ministry of Health and Welfare should conduct a thorough review of its standard operating procedures after two discolored flu vaccines were discovered within a week, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus said on Wednesday, accusing the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) of lax quality control.
The Kaohsiung Department of Health on Sunday reported that a dose from a batch of 82,000 trivalent flu vaccines manufactured by Taiwan-based Adimmune Corp (國光生技) contained a white substance suspended in the liquid, while on Friday last week, a discolored dose was reported in a vaccine produced by France-based Sanofi Pasteur.
KMT caucus secretary-general William Tseng (曾銘宗) told a news conference at the legislature in Taipei that the incidents suggest there are problems with the CDC’s processes.
The incidents have created panic among parents, for which the CDC should be condemned, Tseng said.
As of yesterday, about 25,000 of the approximately 100,000 vaccines administered to children aged up to three were manufactured locally, he said.
He said the CDC must step up quality-assurance efforts to allay public concern.
KMT Legislator Arthur Chen (陳宜民) said international practice for inspecting flu vaccines is to check 5 percent of a batch.
The CDC should have inspected 400 to 500 of the Adimmune doses, but it only checked 190, Chen said, adding that this could be why it had not detected the discolored dose.
The CDC should inform the public of possible side effects of having been inoculated with a problematic flu vaccine, he said.
CDC Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said that deteriorated vaccines have a two-day incubation period before symptoms arise and it was yet to receive reports of illness linked to an inoculation.
“Public health is our No. 1 consideration when procuring vaccines,” Chuang said.
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