Affordable cervical cancer vaccine to be launched shortly

Union Minister of Science and Technology Jitendra Singh on Thursday attended an event held to announce the scientific completion of India’s first indigenously developed quadrivalent Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine. This will help in the prevention of cervical cancer.

The new vaccine will be launched in a few months and made available to the people in an affordable price range of Rs 200-400.

Scientific completion implies that R&D activities pertaining to the vaccine are complete and now the next step of making them available to the public would take place.

Singh said, “The schemes like Ayushman Bharat have made us think about preventive healthcare and we can now afford it. The Department of Biotechnology has taken a lead in the matter and are in collaborative mode”.

CEO of the Serum Institute of India (SII) Adar Poonawalla, who was also present, told reporters on the sidelines of the event, “The cervical cancer vaccine will be affordable and would be available in the range of Rs 200-400. However, the final price is yet to be decided”. He informed that the vaccine will be possibly launched by the end of the year.

First the vaccine would be made available through the government channel and from next year onwards some private partners would be involved too, he said.

Dr N Kalaiselvi, Director General, CSIR said this is the first stepping stone and research in the field and it will further continue.

According to the officials, the qHPV vaccine CERVAVAC has demonstrated robust antibody response that is nearly 1,000 times higher than the baseline against all targeted HPV types and in all dose and age groups.

Cervical cancer in India ranks as the second most frequent cancer among women between 15 and 44 years of age.

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