Wife of Chinese Official Sentenced Over Vaccine Bribery

A Beijing Court sentenced the wife of a former Chinese official to three years in prison on Thursday for accepting bribes from vaccine manufacturers, in a corruption case that follows on the heels of a nationwide scandal over vaccines.

vaccine(Photo: Niaid, CC BY 2.0)The 65-year-old woman, identified by the family name Guo, was convicted of receiving 1.5 million yuan (US$ 216,275) in bribes from five local vaccine manufacturers.

Guo was arrested in April last year on accusations she had accepted bribes in return for helping manufacturers receive government permits for vaccines for diseases including severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and bird flu.

The woman’s husband was an official with China’s Food and Drug Administration.

The case echoes a major vaccine-related scandal which resulted in the government tightening requirements for the distribution of non-compulsory vaccines. The scandal, which surfaced earlier this year, involved some $90 million worth of vaccines being improperly stored, transported and sold in dozens of provinces.