Hong Kong doctor jailed for selling fake Gardasil 9 vaccine

A Hong Kong doctor has been jailed for four months after 76 boxes of counterfeit Merck & Co human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine worth around HK$ 174,800 ($23,000) were discovered in his clinic.

After pleading guilty, Yeung Man-shun (50) was convicted of offering the falsified Gardasil 9 brand vaccines for sale, while the clinic at which he is a director – Harmony Medical Care Service – was fined just over $2,500, reports the South China Morning Post.

The penalties seem surprisingly light given the fraud could have left girls and women unknowingly unprotected against HPV, and therefore at higher risk of cervical cancer.

An investigation was launched after one patient complained of an injection site reaction to a vaccine, resulting in the seizure of the 76 boxes of counterfeit Gardasil 9 last year.

The centre reportedly had two fridges which they used to keep the counterfeit and real vaccines separately, presumably to select shots for clients depending on how likely they were to question the authenticity of the product.

The SCMP writes that HPV vaccines have been in huge demand in Hong Kong, while many women from mainland China have also sought doses in the territory. The price for three doses in a private clinic ranges from about $645 to $1,025.

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