Chinese tourists flood Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital for overpriced HPV vaccine

Picture credit : Philip Kwok

Mainland Chinese tourists stormed Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital yesterday to get vaccinated against HPV. The long queue reached the sidewalk of the road leading to the hospital.

Picture credit : Philip Kwok
Picture credit : Philip Kwok

A Xinhua report revealed that there are more than 2 million Mainland Chinese who prefer to go to Hong Kong to inject Gardasil 9, a cervical cancer vaccine developed by Merck Pharmaceuticals.

The cost of the vaccine has more than tripled to HK$8,000 but it has not dampened the influx of Chinese tourists who come to Hong Kong for the vaccination.

In some cases, clinics are failing to follow the prescribed schedule of shots. According to the optimal injection period recommended by Merck, the second injection needle has to be inoculated at least two months after the first injection After inoculation, the third needle can be inoculated after at least four months. In total, the three-injection vaccine needs to be inoculated within six months to one year to ensure maximum effectiveness.

However, due to low supply, some clinics are administering the 2nd injection over 8 months after the first injection, leading to an inoculation period of over 11 months.

Statistics show that over 2,000 people have not been vaccinated as scheduled, many of whom are women about to inject a second or third needle.

As a result, Hong Kong’s Consumer Council has received over 400 vaccine-related claims in the first four and a half months of 2018, compared with 478 for all of 2017.