A vaccine scandal that broke out in China last week that outraged millions of households has made parents scramble to find their children’s vaccine records to check if their kids had been injected with the faulty doses.
Alipay launched an in-app function on July 24 that allows parents to check the information easier. Under the HealthCare function inside the app, when users enter the name of the vaccine, as well as the batch number and the manufacturer, the app will tell you whether this the vaccine was compromised or not. If users have packing boxes of the vaccine, they can directly scan the barcode to find the information.
This function is also available in other Alibaba-developed applications such as e-commerce platforms Taobao and T-mall and AliHealth.
The outbreak of the scandal was triggered by an announcement from the China Food and Drug Administration that Changchun Changsheng Biotechnology Company violated the standard procedures and faked data when producing rabies vaccine on June 15. Three days later, the same company was fined RMB 3.4 million for producing substandard DPT (diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus) vaccines on July 18.
The company is listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. Its market value has decreased by around RMB 10 billion.
DPT vaccine is compulsory for Chinese children and Changchun Changsheng is a major vaccine manufacturer. According to state media, the substandard vaccine produced by the company occupied a quarter of the market share.
However, the inferior vaccine was found in October 2017 by authorities, but the incident hadn’t been made public.