1.25 lakh women are diagnosed with cervical cancer annually, around 75,000 die from this disease in India
In a major step towards the prevention of cervical cancer, the Serum Institute of India (SII) has launched India’s first indigenously-developed Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. Named ‘Cervavac’, the vaccine was launched in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Chief Executive Director of Serum Institue of India (SII) Adar Poonawalla.
“On the occasion of India’s National Girl Child Day and Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, @SerumInstIndia is pleased to launch the first made-in-India HPV vaccine by the hands of our Hon’ble Home Minister Shri
@AmitShah Ji,” tweeted Adar Poonawalla.
The vaccine ‘Cervavac’ has been developed in partnership with the Department of Biotechnology and Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Cervavac is a quadrivalent vaccine that is expected to be available in the price range of Rs 200-Rs 400.
The development of the vaccine is significant as cervical cancer is the second most prevalent cancer in India. Despite being largely preventable, cervical cancer accounts for nearly one-fourth of the world’s cervical cancer deaths.
According to an estimate, around 1.25 lakh women are diagnosed with cervical cancer annually. Also, around 75,000 die from this disease in India.
Earlier, Union Science & Technology Minister Jitendra Singh said that vaccination against human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most promising intervention to prevent cervical cancer. Reports suggest that HPV-16 and HPV-18 – types of human papillomavirus – contribute to approximately 70 per cent of all invasive cervical cancer cases around the world.
Dr NK Arora, chairman of the Covid working group, National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) said that the government will soon be able to roll out the vaccine as part of its national health programme for girls in the age group of nine years and 14 years.