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Post at: Sep 24 2022

First indigenous vaccine for cervical cancer

In a recent development, The Drugs Controller General of India granted market authorisation to Serum Institute of India to manufacture the indigenously-developed India's first cervical cancer vaccine.
First indigenous vaccine for cervical cancer

  • Approved on : 12 July 2022, 
  • Approved by : The Drugs Controller General of India 
  • Prepared by : Serum Institute of India
  • Name of vaccine : CERVAVAC
  • Speciality : India's first Quadrivalent Human Papillomavirus vaccine (qHPV) against cervical cancer.

What is Cervical Cancer?

  • Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in the cells of the cervix, the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina.
  • Various strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection, play a role in causing most cervical cancer.
  • When exposed to the virus, the body's immune system typically prevents the virus from doing harm. 

Current Scenario

  • Till now, for the vaccine of cervical cancer, one has to depend on other countries.
  • Under this, these vaccines can be given to - adolescents girls between the ages of 9 and 14 years to protect them from cancer.
  • Right now the cervical cancer vaccine is available only in private hospitals, that too they are very expensive.
  • One dose of it costs up to Rs 4,000. There is very less awareness among people about this cancer.

Need of the vaccine

  • Cervical cancer is a major disease in women. It is the second most common cancer in India after breast cancer in women aged 15 to 44 years.
  • About 1.23 lakh cases of cervical cancer and 67000 deaths occur in India every year, which is the highest in the world.
  • HPV vaccine can prevent more than 90% of cervical cancers when given at recommended age.
  • The vaccine is based on VLP (virus like particles), similar to the Hepatitis B vaccine.

Way Forward

  • This indigenous cervical vaccine can be launched in the market by the end of this year. According to SII, It has had a very good effect during the trial. 
  • Antibody responses to all HPV viruses have been observed to be 1000 times higher than baseline in women of all ages.
  • Indian Government should definitely add this up in their immunization program.
  • Experts see this as real opportunity to eliminate cervical cancer and have expressed the hope that it will be rolled out in national HPV vaccination strategies.

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