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The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) on Thursday announced the scientific completion of India's first locally made quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccine (qHPV) against cervical cancer.

The cervical cancer vaccine, Quadrivalent Human Papillomavirus vaccine (qHPV), is developed by the Serum Institute of India (SII) and the Department of Biotechnology(DBT).

According to Dr N K Arora, Chairperson of the COVID working group, National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) said it is an exciting experience to launch a made-in-India vaccine.

“It is very exciting and I must say it makes us very happy that our daughters and granddaughters will now be able to get this much-awaited vaccine".

"In fact, this is one of the last major vaccines to be introduced. In fact, this is one of the last vaccines that will be launched in the programme. Now, Indian vaccines will be available and we hope that it will be launched in the National Immunisation programme for 9-14-year-old girls," he added.

"It is very effective and prevents cervical cancer because, 85% to 90% of cases, cervical cancer is because of this particular virus and this vaccine is against those viruses. So, if we give it to our young children and daughters, they are protected from the infection and consequently probably 30 years later, cancer does not occur," Dr Arora further explained.

"There was a shortage in the global market. Now Indian vaccine has come. So, we will be able to take care of our requirements within our made-in-India vaccine," he said.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) data, 41, 91,000 women have died due to cervical cancer in India since 2019.

What is cervical cancer?

When cancer starts in the cervix, it is called cervical cancer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, all women are at risk for cervical cancer. It occurs most often in women over age 30. Long-lasting infection with certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV) is the main cause of cervical cancer. When cervical cancer is found early, it is highly treatable and associated with long survival and good quality of life.

HPV vaccine

The HPV vaccine protects against the types of HPV that most often cause cervical, vaginal, and vulvar cancers. India has been fully dependent on foreign manufacturers for the HPV vaccine. However, on September 1, India will get its first indigenously developed qHPV vaccine.

Serum Institute's qHPV vaccine got market authorization from the Drugs Controller General of India(DCGI) on 12 July.

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