The first dose of HPV9 vaccine in Chinese Mainland was administered at the United Family Bo’ao Medical Center in Hainan. From May 1 onwards, all women in the country can make an appointment at the Bo’ao Medical Center in Hainan to get the HPV9 vaccine without traveling to Hong Kong or abroad.
On March 31, 2018, Hainan Bo’ao Super Hospital, which enjoys nine preferential state policies, officially opened. On the same day, the United Family Bo’ao Medical Center went into operation. Since then, the two have received many questions and inquires about the HPV9 vaccination. In support of the Chinese government’s initiative to develop Hainan Bo’ao Lecheng International Medical Tourism Pilot Zone, Merck has shipped 6,000 HPV9 vaccines to the United Family Bo’ao Medical Center despite the short supply worldwide.
United Family Bo’ao Medical Center consists of the International Oncology Center and the International Vaccination Center. The International Vaccination Center aims to provide adults and children with vaccination services that are in line with international standards. The most-asked-about is the HPV9 vaccine and has yet to be approved on the China mainland. Clients can book a HPV9 vaccination via the official channels of the United Family Bo’ao Medical Center and Bo’ao Super Hospital, or the online platform of jd.com and AliHealth, two partners of Bo’ao UFH Medical Center.
The HPV vaccines are the world’s first to list cancer as an indication in the product description. There are three types: the two-valent, the four-valent, and the nine-valent. Among them, the two-valent vaccine can protect against HPV type 16 and 18, and can prevent more than 70% of cervical cancers; the four-valent vaccine can protect against HPV type 6, 11, 16, and 18; the 9-valent vaccine protects against HPV type 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 45, 52, and 58, and can prevent 90% of cervical cancers. As a result, even though the two-valent and four-valent vaccines have been launched in the mainland market, many Chinese are still travelling abroad or to Hong Kong to receive the HPV9 vaccine.
Currently, mainlanders can get the nine-valent HPV vaccine at the United Family Bo’ao Medical Center in Hainan. According to the head of the medical center, the UFH vaccine storage system is equipped with a sound quality monitoring and alarm mechanism, including 24-hour electronic cold chain monitoring system to control the storage temperature, and a classified warning mechanism to inform corresponding medical staff to respond and handle any issue that arises at any time. The pharmacy staff will take inventory of the stock by batch numbers each week, and strictly follow guidelines of Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention in disposing of the expired and damaged vaccines. The Hainan Bo’ao Lecheng International Medical Tourism Pilot Zone has established the Bo’ao Public Bonded Warehouse for Medicine to carry out offshore operations domestically, that is, to move the border control directly into the pilot zone. This mechanism will also guarantee and protect the circulation of the HPV9 vaccine. The vaccine must be administered at the United Family Bo’ao Medical Center only and must not be taken away from it in any other way.
On April 28, 2018, Hainan issued the Guidelines for the Use of the 9-Valent Human Papillomavirus Vaccine (Trial) as a guiding document for vaccination, specifying that Hainan follows the same HPV9 vaccination plan and procedures recommended by the WHO and practiced in Hong Kong. The WHO recommends that the second dose of the HPV9 vaccine should be administered at least one month after the first dose and the third dose at least three months after the second. The United Family Bo’ao Medical Center is negotiating with Hainan Airlines and other airline companies to offer a special discount for passengers who purchase three flight tickets together to Hainan for the HPV9 vaccination.
On April 28, the China Food and Drug Administration conditionally approved the marketing of HPV9 vaccine for the prevention of cervical cancer. But business insiders estimate that it will take some time to go from the current “conditional” approval to large-scale regular inoculation nationwide. At present, the United Family Bo’ao Medical Center is the only medical center on the Chinese mainland that offers the HPV9 vaccine.