Hong Kong facing shortage of chickenpox vaccine

Children in Hong Kong may be vulnerable to chickenpox infection because of a shortage of vaccines.

One supplier blamed the shortage on a drastic increase in demand, saying that it has been out of vaccine stock since January, SCMP.com reports.

"Some private doctors have found it difficult to purchase more," Secretary for the Food and Health Bureau Dr. Ko Wing-man said, according to SCMP.com. "The government has already taken action to contact the supplier. They have given us their promise to supply more as soon as possible."

Private doctors are also struggling to purchase more of the vaccine, while the government has taken action to contact its supplier.

According to Doctors Union President Dr. Henry Yeung Chiu-fat, there has been a surge in mainland demand for injections following the death of a five-year-old boy in a Guangxi province two years ago during a fake vaccine scandal.

According to Yueng, one in three of the patients seeking a vaccination at his private practice comes from the mainland.

"Mainland parents are more confident in the quality of Hong Kong's vaccine," Yeung said, according to SCMP.com.

Last year, the government decided to provide chickenpox vaccines through the Childhood Immunization Program beginning in 2014. Parents currently must pay for the vaccine, SCMP.com reports.