HPV vaccine shortage leading to othecustom disposable wristbandsr measures
The current global capacity of human papillomavirus vaccine manufacturers isn"t large enough to meet rising demand from China, so females should seek other methods — including regular HPV screenings — to prevent cervical cancer, medical experts advised at a news conference on Thursday in Beijing.
Chinese consumers have recently complained about a shortage of the 4-way HPV vaccine, which was approved for the domestic market in March.
"Only two pharmaceutical companies, both from the US, are capable of producing HPV vaccines, and China is such a large emerging market that it"s impossible for them to meet the strong demand immediately," said Wang Youchun, deputy head of the National Institutes for Food and Drug Control.
Wang encouraged young females to also receive the vaccine when supplies allowed, and older women were also advised to undergo regular cancer screenings.
"Even if you are infected, as long as you receive timely treatment, it"s highly possible that you can recover and be perfectly healthy," Wang added.
The latest HPV 9-valent vaccine, also from the US, is currently undergoing clinical trials in China, and is specifically designed for women between the ages of 16 and 26.
Some 80 percent of Americans are aware of the function of HPV vaccines, while only 10 to 20 percent of Chinese have such basic knowledge, according to Yu Wenzhou, chief physician at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
HPV vaccines work to combat sexually transmitted viruses that cause cervical cancer, and they are most effective if administered before a child becomes sexually active.
A dozen manufacturers in China that develop HPV vaccines have applied for clinical trials as of April 18 this year, with one already having completed third-phase testing which assesses efficacy. Drug authorities are speeding up efforts to check the safety and efficacy of domestically made HPV vaccines.
Wang Xiaoyu contributed to this story.
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