Vaccine scandal highlights Indonesian health system woes

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A scandal over fake vaccines given to children prompted angry and confused parents to assault a doctor in the Indonesian capital in a sign of deep-seated problems in the country’s health system.

Since last month, vials filled with saline solution and antibiotics have been discovered at 37 hospitals and clinics in nine cities. So far, 23 people have been arrested, including three doctors. The number of affected children is still being investigated.

Indonesia President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo this week visited a clinic where nearly 170 children were to be revaccinated. He asked for patience while police investigate an “extraordinary crime” of bogus vaccines allegedly going back as far as 2003.