Tainted flu vaccines: is Hong Kong medical system failing to protect the people?
I am writing in response to the medical incident involving a batch of flu vaccine made by Sanofi Pasteur (“75,000 doses of flu vaccine from batch with impurities used in Hong Kong”, November 27). The report left me sad, and disappointed in the Hong Kong medical system.
The government has a responsibility to protect public health. It must review vaccines administered in public hospitals and outpatient clinics. But this case, in which as many as 75,000 doses of problematic flu vaccine from French manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur were used, suggests that the government is not doing a good job on quality checks.
In Taiwan, the Food and Drug Administration discovered impurities in two batches of Sanofi Pasteur vaccine during routine inspections, following which the Hong Kong case came to light.
Our medical authorities seem to have failed to thoroughly review the problematic batches they received, and allowed them to go out on the market. Due to this mistake, many citizens are now left worried if the injections they were given might affect their health, even though “there has been no adverse reaction reported related to vaccinations with the affected batch”.
This is regrettable. The Hong Kong medical system has been trusted by people for many years. But this kind of error will erode the system’s credibility and our trust in it. We cannot believe that the government has failed to protect us against unsafe vaccines.
Vivian Choi, Kwai Chung