After receiving her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, Li Jun’s 4-year-old developed a fever and coughs, which 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. But Li and others particularly pointed to a rise in patients from the younger age group in the last few months, coinciding with the regime’s push to inoculate children between 3 and 11 years old beginning last October.
Li’s daughter had her first injection in mid-November under the request of her kindergarten. She is now undergoing chemotherapy at the Lanzhou No. 2 People’s Hospital where at least 20 children are being treated for similar symptoms, most of them between the age of 3 and 8, according to Li.
“Our doctor from the hospital told us that since November, the children coming to their hematology division to treat leukemia have doubled the previous years’ number and they are having a shortage of beds,” he said.
Li claimed that at least eight children from Suzhou district, where he lives, have died recently from leukemia.
The hospital’s hematology division could not be immediately reached for comment.
Roughly 84.4 million children between the 3-11 age group have been vaccinated as of Nov. 13, according to 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.
There’s limited information about the health effects of these vaccines on children, and the World Health Organization said in late November that it has not approved the two vaccines for emergency use on the underaged.
But parents who were reluctant to vaccinate their children have faced pressure to comply. Some said they lost work bonuses or were given a talk by their supervisors. In other cases, their children faced punishment varying from losing honors or even getting barred from attending school, as in the case of Wang Long’s 10-year-old son.
“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, told The Epoch Times.
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.