India’s first indigenously-developed vaccine for cervical cancer unveiled

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New Delhi, Sep 1 (IANS) The Centre on Thursday announced the “Cervavac”, India’s first indigenously-developed vaccine for prevention of cervical cancer, will be launched in the next few months and will be available in the price range of Rs 200-Rs 400.

Cervical cancer ranks as the 2nd most prevalent cancers in India and accounts for nearly one-fourth of the world’s cervical cancer deaths despite being largely preventable.

As per current estimates, every year, approximately 1.25 lakh women are diagnosed with cervical cancer, and over 75,000 die from the disease in India, and 83 per cent of invasive cervical cancers are attributed to HPVs 16 or 18 in India, and 70 per cent of cases worldwide.

Announcing the scientific completion of the quadrivalent Human Papilloma Virus (qHPV) vaccine in presence of Adar C. Poonawalla, CEO, Serum Institute of India and other prominent scientists and dignitaries, Union Science & Technology Minister Jitendra Singh said that this affordable and cost-effective vaccine marks an important day for the DBT and the BIRAC as it takes India a step closer to PM Narendra Modi’s vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat.

He noted that the most promising intervention for preventing cervical cancer is vaccination against human papillomavirus (HPV). It is estimated that HPV types 16 and 18 (HPV-16 and HPV-18) together contribute to approximately 70 per cent of all invasive cervical cancer cases worldwide.

The first indigenously developed Quadrivalent Human Papillomavirus vaccine (qHPV) vaccine will be launched in few months, Poonawalla said, adding that the vaccine will be available to the people in an affordable price range of Rs 200-400.

Poonawalla, in his brief address, said that the wellbeing and protection of mother and child is the core philosophy of Serum Institute as only a healthy India can be a productive India.

Jitendra Singh pointed out that within a year of implementation, the Mission Covid Suraksha demonstrated major achievements such as development of the world’s first DNA vaccine for Covid-19 by Cadila Healthcare which received Emergency Use Authorisation on August 20, 2021, and supporting the development of the nation’s first mRNA Vaccine and intranasal vaccine candidate against Covid-19.

He said that “Cervavac” is an outcome of a partnership of the DBT and the BIRAC with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, supported by Serum Institute of India for the indigenous development of quadrivalent vaccine through its partnership programme ‘Grand Challenges India’

–IANS

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