The number of children being diagnosed with leukemia after taking Chinese vaccines is soaring, according to reports.
Parents have been attempting to raise the alarm after their children have fallen severely ill, only to find their warnings are being scrubbed from the Chinese Communist Party-controlled Internet in China.
Devastated parents are trying to warn other parents against the shots, but say they are being silenced.
After receiving her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, Li Jun’s 4-year-old developed a fever and cough.
The symptoms quickly subsided after intravenous therapy at the hospital.
But after the second shot, the father could tell something was wrong.
Swelling appeared around his daughter’s eyes and did not go away.
For weeks, the girl complained about pains on her legs, where bruises started to emerge seemingly out of nowhere.
In January, a few weeks after the second dose, the 4-year-old was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
“My baby was perfectly healthy before the vaccine dose,” Li (an alias), from China’s north-central Gansu Province, told The Epoch Times.
“I took her for a health check. Everything was normal.”
He is among hundreds of Chinese that belong to a social media group claiming to be suffering from or have a household member suffering from leukemia, developed after taking Chinese vaccines.
Eight of them confirmed the situation when reached by The Epoch Times.
Names of the interviewees have been withheld to protect their safety.
The leukemia cases span across different age groups from all parts of China.
Li claims that at least eight children from Suzhou district, where he lives, have died recently from leukemia.
Roughly 84.4 million children between the 3-11 age group have been vaccinated as of Nov. 13, according to the latest figures from China’s National Health Commission, accounting for more than half of the population in that age bracket.
There had been some resistance from Chinese parents when the campaign to vaccinate children first rolled out.
They expressed concern about the lack of data about the effects of Chinese vaccines on young people.
The vaccines are supplied by two Chinese drugmakers, Sinopharm and Sinovac, which carry an efficacy rate of 79 percent and 50.4 percent, respectively, based on available data from trials conducted on adults.
“The school told us last year to take him for vaccination on such and such date, or he can’t go to class,” Wang, from eastern China’s Shandong Province, said.
The boy received his second dose on Dec. 4.
A month later, he began experiencing fatigue and low fever.
He is now at Shandong University Qilu Hospital, being treated for acute leukemia, diagnosed on Jan. 18.
On WeChat, the all-in-one Chinese social media platform, Li has come to know over 500 patients or their family members sharing the same predicament.
The local disease control center, when called by Li and others, had promised an investigation.
But these probes invariably ended with the officials declaring the leukemia cases as “coincidental” and thus unrelated to the vaccines.
The authorities had said the same following the deaths of over a dozen toddlers after Hepatitis B jabs in 2013.
But Li and others in a similar situation are far from being convinced.
“I dare say they didn’t do any verification but only went through the motions,” said Li.
Li suspects that authorities are giving him the runaround.
The officials told him a panel of experts would start an investigation within his province, but when he called the provincial level health agency, they disavowed any knowledge, saying reports of these cases had never reached them.
Li and others seeking scrutiny of this issue also stand little chance to get their voices heard in the vast Chinese censorship machinery that constantly filters out anything deemed harmful to the communist regime’s interests.
“The information gets blocked the instant we try to post something online. You can’t send it out,” said Li.
When China’s two top political bodies met last week for its most important annual gathering in what Beijing called the “Two Sessions,” Li pitched in the WeChat group the idea of petitioning in the capital to get the authorities’ attention.
That message drew the authorities’ notice immediately.
“The police called us one by one,” said Li.
“They said we have made things up and ordered us to withdraw from the chat group.”
The group was soon disbanded.
An information sheet containing details of over 200 leukemia patients, filled out by members of the group, is no longer accessible.
According to Li, there are signs indicating that authorities are well aware of this issue.
Doctors, when receiving patients presenting with similar symptoms, would first ask them if they had taken the vaccine, he said, citing information he learned from the WeChat group.
“Got it, they would say, and that’s the end of it,” he said of the doctors’ questioning.
Li got the same reaction when calling the hotline for Chinese state broadcaster CCTV in the hopes of getting media exposure.
“As soon as we said the children had taken COVID-19 vaccine, they asked me if she had gotten leukemia. They knew,” said Li.
“They said that they got too many calls because of this.”