Home / Science / Health /  Serum Institute launches country’s first HPV vaccine against cervical cancer: Adar Poonawalla

NEW DELHI : On the occasion of National Girl Child Day, the Serum Institute of India on Tuesday launched the first indigenously developed human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV)-- “CERVAVAC," against the cervical cancer in women. 

“On the occasion of India’s National Girl Child Day and Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, @SerumInstIndia is pleased to launch the first made-in-India HPV vaccine by the hands of our Hon’ble Home Minister Shri @AmitShah Ji," Poonawalla tweeted. 

The vaccine-- “CERVAVAC" has been jointly created by the Serum Institute of India (SII) and the Department of Biotechnology (DBT). 

Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women after breast, lung, and colorectal cancer, with the country accounting for nearly one-fourth of the world’s cervical cancer deaths. 

It is estimated that every year approximately 1.25 lakhs (reported and underreported cases) women are diagnosed with cervical cancer, and over 75 thousand females die from the disease in India. 

With the launch of the vaccine, the union government now plans to target girls in the 9-14 years age group for vaccination against cervical cancer with Serum Institute keeping the price of the vaccine to around Rs200-400 per dose. Cervical cancer is a cancer of the cervix or the lower-most part of the uterus, where the malignant tumor can be prevented by screening and an HPV vaccine. 

So far, the imported HPV vaccine is only available at private hospitals for Rs3,500 to Rs4,000 per dose, with two doses required to complete the vaccination. 

According to the International Classification of Disease by WHO (2022)- In India, 65,978 females were detected with cervical cancer in 2015. The figure climbed to 75,209 in 2017 which is expected to reach 85,241 in 2025. 

Earlier, Mint has reported that union government may also announce the inclusion of HVP vaccine under universal immunization programme in the upcoming union budget. 


Priyanka Sharma

Priyanka Shamra is a health and pharma journalist with nearly nine years of field reporting experience. She is a special correspondent with Mint. Her beat includes covering the Ministry of Health and Department of Pharmaceuticals. She also covers the Ministry of Women and Child Development and the Department of Biotechnology.
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