Govt vaccine probe report trustworthy

Source:Global Times Published: 2014-1-4 0:49:00

Photo: (China bans Shenzhen hepatitis B vaccine after 4 infant deaths)

Health and drug authorities stated Friday that investigations show no link between the deaths of over a dozen children and the hepatitis B vaccine shots they received earlier.

The claim drew a new round of doubts on the Internet, as the result was very different from earlier public speculations over the quality of the vaccine produced by Shenzhen-based company BioKangtai.

We believe the statement by the National Health and Family Planning Commission and the China Food and Drug Administration is credible and authoritative.

Fatal vaccination incidents are too serious for the two authorities to attempt a lie. If the investigation has any major problem, it is almost 100 percent sure that it cannot escape public scrutiny in the age of the Internet.

The authorities did respond to the incident quickly and seriously. But some questioned that the immediate stopping of the use of related vaccines showed the lack of the government's confidence in the country's vaccines.

The public is not obliged to trust or sympathize with the authorities and companies. But the media have the responsibility to try their best to convey the facts and help the public not to panic over what are merely speculations.

The rise of the Internet blogosphere has caused a fall of the credibility of the authorities. The vaccine incident has been worsened by the lack of trust in both the government and domestically made products.

It is easy to raise suspicions online. But it will be highly costly to dissolve these suspicions.

However, this vaccine incident is different from the baby milk formula contamination scandal that broke out in 2008. The melamine contamination was factual. But the doubts about the quality of the domestically made vaccines are all based on speculations this time.

As long as the quality of the vaccines is indisputable, the time it takes for them to win back the public trust will be much shorter than for Chinese milk products.

Reestablishing the government's public credibility has been considered extremely difficult. But it may not be as difficult as people think. As long as the authorities keep their word, little by little, people will start to trust them.

The anti-corruption campaign, for example, used to be believed to be more thunder than rain. But the past year has largely changed people's mind. Many began to believe the new leadership has been intending to make some solid moves.

What the government needs to do is keep moving toward this direction through concrete efforts. It will be unbearable for the country if the government's credibility remains low.

Posted in: Editorial

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