There are more than 30 vaccine manufacturing companies in China so far. They are capable of producing over 40 varieties of vaccines to prevent more than 20 infectious diseases. Compared with the international market, vaccine manufacturing companies in China have a larger total number yet a smaller individual scale.
In China, it is used to classifying vaccines into two catalogues: Vaccine I and Vaccine II. Vaccine I refers to those free vaccines provided by the government for the public, including vaccines against major epidemic diseases such as hepatitis B, epidemic meningitis and tetanus. Vaccines in this category are all priced by the government and purchased through bidding. Vaccine II mainly covers vaccines paid by citizens themselves. For Vaccine II, pricing falls into the hand of companies, thus offering a higher profit margin and yet forming a more fiercely competitive market. Some of the commonly used vaccines in the Vaccine II catalogue include Pneumonia Vaccine, Varicella Vaccine, Type B Haemophilus Influenzae Conjugate Vaccine, Influenza Vaccine and Rabies Vaccine. In China, Vaccine I market is dominated by state-owned enterprises. Foreign and private enterprises gain certain advantages in the Vaccine II market.
In 2015, vaccine market size in China had a value of about CNY 21 billion. During the corresponding period, however, the whole pharmaceutical market in China reached a scale of over CNY 2,000 billion. Sales of vaccine industry took up only about 1% of the whole pharmaceutical industry, much lower than the average 3% of the global market. Therefore, China’s vaccine market still has much room for growth. China is a country with the largest population in the world. Every year newly born babies exceed 10 million yet meanwhile aging population is witnessing a trend of rise. As the economy advances, movement of population in China is frequent, which objectively adds to the wider and faster spread of diseases globally. Outbreaks of new epidemic diseases (such as Avian Influenza, Type A H1N1 Influenza) are more frequent.
Thanks to the technology accumulation over the years, some of China’s private enterprises have gained significant breakthroughs in both the technological field and the market of Vaccine II. However, as the majority of them produce their products through copy and imitation, they are in lack of strength in core technology, manufacturing technique, innovation and competence.