02 July 2015

Criminal Vaccine

American inventor of fake HIV vaccine sentenced to prison term

A former researcher at the University of Iowa, Dong-Pai Han, was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison and a fine of $7.2 million. After his release, Khan will be under observation for another three years.

A few years ago, Khan participated in research to create a vaccine against HIV. The developments were funded by the US government. Soon after the start of the work, the scientists declared success. Antibodies to fight the virus have been found in a rabbit blood-based vaccine. Later it turned out that they were added to the serum by Khan himself, along with human blood samples.

Dong-Pai Han had previously pleaded guilty. His lawyer asked the court to limit the trial period in relation to the accused. However, the judge took the side of the prosecution, which indicated that too lenient punishment could serve as a reason for the repetition of such cases of fraud.

After the scandal broke, Khan resigned. Nevertheless, he claimed that he had committed fraud unintentionally: human samples got into the vaccine by accident, and when he discovered this, he was so embarrassed that he did not report what had happened, but continued to replace the samples further.

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