Chinese authorities have fined two drug companies, including one authorised to make swine flu vaccines, for producing substandard rabies shots, state media said Monday.
Ealong Biotech Company was fined 25 million yuan (3.6 million dollars) and Bioforwell Company was told to pay five million yuan for producing 210,000 units of a rabies vaccine in 2008, the Global Times newspaper reported.
The companies had reduced the level of a key ingredient to cut costs, rendering the jabs ineffective, it quoted the State Food and Drug Administration as saying.
Ealong Biotech, based in eastern Jiangsu province, is one of a handful of companies authorised to produce the nation's vaccines for swine flu, or the A(H1N1) virus.
The government also has revoked the two companies' licenses to produce rabies vaccines, the report said.
There have been no reports of the vaccines causing health problems, according to state media reports.
Rabies has emerged as a major public health concern in China. The government said last year China was second only to India in annual human deaths from rabies, averaging more than 2,000 per year in recent years.