The Serum Institute of India (SII) is ready to produce India’s first indigenous Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in a significant effort against cervical cancer. According to a report by Livemint, the Pune-based pharmaceutical company expects to launch the vaccine in the country by November of this year.
The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) has advised that the Union Health Ministry include the HPV vaccine in the National Immunization Program because it is the fourth most common cancer type in women. Cervical cancer develops in the lower region of the uterus, and the malignant form can be avoided with HPV vaccinations and screenings.
India has the highest number of cervical cancer cases each year, ranging between 80,000 and 90,000. According to the Union Health Ministry, the vaccine initiative would apparently target females aged 9 to 14 years old. The vaccine is currently only available in private hospitals and costs around Rs 4,000 per dose.