China produces domestic HPV vaccine

Science & Health

Photo credit: SupChina illustration by Derek Zheng

Human papillomavirus is the world’s most common viral infection of the reproductive tract, and is a leading cause of cervical cancer. In 2006, the American pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. released Gardasil, the first HPV vaccine, and now one of the world’s best-selling vaccines.

China has now approved a domestically produced competitor to Gardasil. Its name is Cecolin, or 馨可宁 xīn kě níng, and as you would expect, its price is significantly lower in China: 329 yuan ($47) per shot, compared with about $250 per dose of the Gardasil vaccine in the United States.  

What’s on Weibo has details on the new vaccine, and its reception on social media in China — some internet users are worried about quality.