After receiving the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, Li Jun’s 4-year-old child developed fever and cough, which soon subsided after intravenous treatment in the hospital. But after the second shot, the father could say something was wrong.
A swelling appeared around my daughter’s eyes and did not go away. For weeks, the girl complained about her leg pain. There, bruises began to appear out of nowhere. In January, a few weeks after her second dose, a 4-year-old was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
“My baby was completely healthy before vaccination,” Lee (also known as) in central and northern Gansu, China, told The Epoch Times. “I took her to her health check. Everything was normal.”
He is one of hundreds of Chinese in a social media group who claim to have leukemia-stricken or leukemia-affected families after vaccination with China. Eight of them confirmed the situation when the Epoch Times arrived. The interviewee’s name has been withheld for your safety.
Leukemia cases span different age groups throughout China. However, Lee et al. Especially pointed out that the number of patients in the younger age group has increased in the past few months, in line with the government’s promotion to inoculate children aged 3 to 11 from October last year. did.
Lee’s daughter received her first injection in mid-November at the request of a kindergarten. She is currently receiving chemotherapy at Lanzhou Second People’s Hospital, and according to Li, at least 20 children are being treated for similar symptoms, most of them between the ages of 3 and 8.
“Hospital doctors have said that since November, the number of children coming to the hematology department to treat leukemia has doubled from the previous year and there is a shortage of beds,” he said.
Lee claimed that at least eight children in Suzhou District, where he lives, recently died of leukemia.
The hospital’s hematology department was not immediately asked for comment.
As of November 13, approximately 84.4 million children aged 3 to 11 were vaccinated, accounting for more than half of the population of that age group, according to the latest statistics from the National Health Commission of China. I am.
When the campaign to vaccinate children was first launched, there was some resistance from Chinese parents. They expressed concern about the lack of data on the effectiveness of Chinese vaccines on adolescents. The vaccine is supplied by two Chinese pharmaceutical companies, Sinopharm and Sinovac, and has shown efficacy rates of 79% and 50.4%, respectively, based on data from studies conducted in adults.
Information on the health effects of these vaccines on children is limited, and the World Health Organization said in late November that it had not approved two vaccines for emergency use in minors. rice field.
However, parents who were hesitant to vaccinate their children face the pressure to obey. Some have lost their work bonuses or heard from their bosses. In other cases, their children faced various punishments, from losing their honor or being barred from attending school, as in the case of Wanglong’s 10-year-old son.
“The school last year told me to take him to vaccination on such a day, or he wouldn’t be able to go to class,” the King from Shandong Province, eastern China, told The Epoch Times. Told.
The boy received a second dose on December 4th. A month later, he began to experience fatigue and a low-grade fever. He is currently admitted to Shandong University Sailu Hospital and was diagnosed on January 18 with treatment for acute leukemia.
On WeChat, an all-in-one Chinese social media platform, Li has learned that more than 500 patients or their families share the same predicament.
The local Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had promised an investigation when called by Lee and others. However, these investigations have always been terminated by the authorities’ declaration that leukemia cases are “accidental” and therefore unrelated to the vaccine.
Authorities said the same in 2013 after more than 12 infants died after a hepatitis B jab.
But Lee and others in a similar situation are far from convinced.
“I dare say they didn’t verify, but they just passed the motion,” Lee said.
Li suspects authorities are giving him a workaround. Officials told him that a committee of experts would initiate an investigation in his state, but when he called a state-level health agency, they said they did not receive reports of these incidents. Denied his knowledge.
Lee and others seeking scrutiny of this issue rarely hear their voice in the vast Chinese censorship system, which constantly eliminates what is considered harmful to the interests of the communist government.
“When I try to post something online, the information is blocked. I can’t ship it,” Li said.
When two top Chinese political groups met last week for the most important annual rally that Beijing called the “two sessions,” Lee petitioned in the capital to draw the attention of authorities in the WeChat group. I proposed the idea.
The message immediately elicited an official notice.
“The police called us one by one,” Lee said. “They ordered us to leave the chat group, saying we made things up.”
According to Lee, there are signs that the authorities are fully aware of the issue. Doctors will first ask if they took the vaccine when accepting patients with similar symptoms, he said, citing information learned from the WeChat group.
“Okay, they’ll say, and that’s the end of it,” he said of the doctor’s question.
Lee got the same response when he called the hotline of China’s national broadcaster CCTV, hoping to be exposed to the media.
“As soon as the children said they had been vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine, they were asked if she had leukemia. They knew,” Lee said. “I was told that this caused me to have too many calls.”
The cost of treatment is estimated to be about 400,000 to 500,000 yuan ($ 63,093 to $ 78,867), which is more than 20 times the average annual income.
The 10-year-old leukemia king is the only earner in the family and is already struggling to repay his mortgage. He received only about 1,000 yuan ($ 157) through a state social assistance program to help pay for his son’s treatment.
“I stayed in the hospital until 4 am the night before,” said the king, adding that the disastrous news had “broken” the boy’s mother considerably.
“If he inherited it from his family, we would accept it as our lot,” said the king. “But he got sick because of the vaccine. It can’t be reconciled.”
Meanwhile, Lee borrowed money from his relatives for hospital expenses. He said some of the money was flowing into invoices worth a few dollars, worth 20 yuan and 30 yuan.
Lee has not heard responses from officials or the media.
His friend, who works for the local health committee that oversees the distribution of vaccines, told him not to have much hope for this issue.
“The authorities knew you could get leukemia, but’arms aren’t comparable to thighs,'” a friend told him, referring to a Chinese metaphor. “This is a national issue.”