Cervical Cancer Vaccine
#GS-03 Science and Technology, #GS-02 Healthcare
- Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in the cells of the cervix (the lowermost part of the uterus) and results in the formation of a malignant tumour there.
- Cervical cancer is treatable as well as curable; however, the possibility of recurrence exists.
- However, it is the second most prevalent form of cancer and the second largest cause of death by cancer in women of reproductive age (15-44).
- Various strains of the Human papillomavirus (HPV) are the major cause for the largest number of cervical cancer cases.
- 27% of global cervical cancer cases are recorded from India.
- CERVAVAC is a quadrivalent vaccine which makes it effective against at least four variants of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).
- The vaccine has been developed by Serum Institute of India (SII), and was approved by the Drug Controller General of India in July 2022.
- It has been developed by SII in partnership with Department of Biotechnology’s Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
- CERVAVAC is expected to cost ₹ 200-₹ 400 a shot which is a substantiate reduction from the current price of ₹ 3,500 to ₹ 6,000 per dose.
- The development of CERVAVAC makes it the third HPV vaccine available in India after the Gardasil (a quadrivalent vaccine from Merck) and Cervarix (a bivalent vaccine from GlaxoSmithKline).
- The vaccine will be available to the public through Universal Immunisation Programme by mid-2023.
- The government is expected to roll out this vaccine for girls aged between nine and 14 through schools.
- Girls who are unable to attend school on the day of the vaccination campaign will be provided the vaccine at a health facility.
- Out-of-school girls will be reached through community outreach and mobile teams.
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a DNA virus from the Papillomaviridae family and is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI).
- Most people with HPV don’t develop any symptoms but can act as carriers infecting others through sexual contact.
- HPV vaccines can prevent the most common types of infection.