A still-evolving vaccine scandal in China prompted a range of social media discussions in the past week around how blockchain could have prevented such a situation – or how it might be used to stop it in the future.
To recap, ChangChun Changsheng Bio-technology, a pharmaceutical firm based in Jilin, is accused of having sold about 252,600 units of questionable DPT vaccine, not long after this Shenzhen-listed public firm was found forging data on about 113,000 substandard rabies vaccines, according to a report from the South China Morning Post.
Notably, this is not the first vaccine-related scandal occurred in China in the past year. Several pharmaceutical companies have been involved in producing and selling a great number of DPT vaccines, and a majority of them remain unpunished to this day.
There’s little doubt that the latest exposure of wrongdoing has caused yet another outcry among the public and the scandal-plagued pharmaceutical industry. At its heart, the snowballing problems have raised a core question: how can Chinese families protect their kids and themselves?
The idea that blockchain could allow for the more efficient dispersal of data about vaccines spread soon after the rabies vaccine scandal broke.
A computer programmer under the username @wstart arguably got the ball rolling on V2EX, a Reddit-like online community. According to his post, after spending about 14 hours on data mining and coding, he was able to locate problematic vaccines in 30 provinces.
During the process, he explained, it became apparent how surprisingly difficult it was to gather all the information he needed, with some still remaining unavailable or unsearchable.
And that’s when the crypto community in China started to come out and highlight blockchain as a possible solution.