Indigenous cervical cancer vaccine ready, set to be part of Govt’s immunisation drive

An affordable and indigenously developed HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine to prevent cervical cancer is now ready and will likely be included by the Union government in its universal immunisation programme.

The vaccine, Cervavac, was developed by Serum Institute of India with the support of the Department of Biotechnology and will likely be priced between Rs 200 and Rs 400 per dose.

Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla, said: “The government of India will induct it in a few months in the national programme. It will be affordable.”

HPV is a common sexually transmitted infection. Cervical cancer, caused by persistence of certain high-risk strains of the HPV virus, continues to be the only type of cancer preventable by vaccines. Two vaccine doses are supposed to be administered to teenage girls before they are sexually active.

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