357 officials punished in China over vaccine scandal

China on Thursday said it would penalize 357 officials in connection with a vaccine scandal that has eroded public trust in the government.

The officials were implicated in the illegal sale of improperly stored vaccines, state media reported Thursday.

Some will face dismissal or demotion, according to a decision made at a State Council executive meeting on Wednesday.

So far 192 criminal cases have been filed and 202 people have been detained nationwide over the scandal, the official Xinhua news agency said Thursday.

Officers are investigating at least three pharmaceutical companies, according to a Xinhua report last month.

The vaccines involved were worth more than 570 million yuan (88 million dollars).

They were reportedly sold in 20 provincial regions from 2011.

Authorities have ordered drug and health departments to check the manufacturing source of the medicines and to take the defective ones off the market immediately.

Health officials have said the vaccines are not harmful, but improper storage or transport can make them less effective.

Last update: Thu, 14/04/2016 - 11:47

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