Cervical Cancer Vaccine

Cervical Cancer Vaccine

#GS-03 Science and Technology, #GS-02 Healthcare

For Prelims

Cervical Cancer:

  • 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:

  • 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.