A woman has a 9-valent vaccine shot in Zhengzhou, capital of Henan province. Each year, some 131,500 new cervical cancer cases are reported in China, and about 53,000 patients die from the disease. ZHANG TAO/FOR CHINA DAILY
Once people can acquire the vaccination on a regular basis, the balance between supply and demand will be gradually restored, he said.
According to a report released earlier this year by Horizon Insights, a consultancy in Shanghai, some 300 million Chinese are in the recommended age group for the 2-valent vaccine, 130 million for the 4-valent, and 90 million for the 9-valent. Every year, 8 million people fall into the recommended age group for each vaccine.
Last year, 300,000 people were vaccinated with the 2-valent type, 1.1 million with the 4-valent, and only 100,000 with the 9-valent, resulting in market values of 500 million yuan, 2.7 billion yuan and 400 million yuan, the report said.
About 833,300 doses of the 2-valent vaccine, 3.41 million of the 4-valent and 1.22 million of the 9-valent were released on the market last year, according to the report.
It estimated that the market value for the 2-, 4-and 9-valent vaccines would reach 1 billion yuan, 7.2 billion yuan and 10 billion in times of peak demand.
There will continue to be a shortage of all three types until next year, as the huge demand that exists now cannot be met in a short period, the report said.
Zhao Heng, founder of consulting company Latitude Health, said the shortage could be resolved through increased production and distribution, but as the three types of vaccine are not on the national compulsory vaccination program, it is difficult for the authorities to order pharmaceutical companies to increase supplies.
However, more than a dozen Chinese pharmaceutical companies are developing HPV vaccines ranging from 2-valent to 14-valent, and some have started phase-3 clinical trials while others have only just received approval for such trials, according to the Horizon Insights report.