New Delhi3 hours ago
The country has got the first indigenous Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine against cervical cancer. Its name is ‘CERVAVAC’. Home Minister Amit Shah launched this vaccine on Tuesday. This vaccine made in collaboration with Pune’s Serum Institute of India (SII) will soon be made available through a government program.
The vaccine has been jointly developed by SII, Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. SII CEO Adar Poonawala says that the vaccine will be made available this year itself. Although its quantity will be less. Production will be boosted next year.
Cervical cancer is fatal for women
Cervical cancer is the second deadliest disease for women worldwide. Starting from the vagina, this cancer spreads rapidly from the bladder, rectum to the lungs. This disease is caused by infection with a virus called papilloma virus (HPV). Women who smoke more or take more drugs that suppress immunity are more at risk of this cancer.
Vaccine will be installed in schools
The Central Government has asked all the States and Union Territories to spread awareness about the prevention of cervical cancer and the importance of HPV vaccine among girl students across the country. Apart from this, the central government will soon start a vaccination program at the school level to prevent the risk of cancer. On behalf of the Central Government, this campaign will be started in schools especially for girls of 9 to 14 years.
How much does the vaccine cost?
Poonawalla said that the vaccine will be gradually implemented through government programmes. Can’t comment on its price right now. The tender process for the vaccine will be awaited and the government’s protocol will be followed. He said that as soon as the whole process is completed, the cost of the vaccine will be disclosed.
Currently two foreign vaccines are available in the country
Two foreign vaccines, Gardasil and Cervarix, are available in India for cervical cancer since 2008. Their one dose starts from 3 thousand rupees and comes up to 10 thousand rupees. Girls aged 9 to 14 years take two doses at an interval of 6 months. At the same time, women between the ages of 15 and 45 take three doses.
75 thousand deaths due to cervical cancer annually in the country
According to government statistics, cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in India. Cervical cancer is found in about 1.25 lakh women every year and more than 75 thousand patients die due to this disease in India. This is about a quarter of the deaths due to cervical cancer in the world. This cancer is most commonly found in women aged 35 to 44.
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