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China orders recall of dodgy rabies vaccine

MORE than 320,000 doses of rabies vaccine found to contain a banned ingredient have been recovered after Chinese regulators ordered a recall, an official said yesterday.

The drugs were recovered by Dalian Jingang-Andi Bio-products Co Ltd in northeast China's Liaoning Province, said Yan Jiangying, spokeswoman for the State Food and Drug Administration.

There have been no reports of vaccine-related illnesses.

The SFDA asked the province's drug administration department to make sure all products were found, Yan said. The agency ordered the company to recall all rabies vaccine it produced in 2008, totaling 3.4 million doses, soon after the department received a report from the National Institute for the Control of Pharmaceutical and Biological Products.

The institute found in a test that 360,200 doses of the company's vaccines contained nucleic acid, which was not supposed to be added until its safety had been proved.

Nucleic acid acts to enhance the effectiveness of anti-viral drugs. But China hasn't approved it yet for use in rabies vaccine, said Dong Guanmu, a researcher at the institute.

Dong said that although animal tests showed the acid did enhance the effectiveness of the vaccine, clinical trials had to be carried out before it could be used on humans.


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