The Indian HPV Vaccine

Recently, the Serum Institute of India, Pune, has innovated the first quadrivalent Human Papillomavirus Vaccine (qHPV) against cervical cancer. The vaccine is now commercially available and will be rolled out for the public sector later this year.

Cervical cancer – the second most common cancer in India, also accounts for a significant number of global cases. Each year, India reports 1.23 lakh new cases and approximately 77,000 deaths due to cervical cancer. 

When administered at the recommended age, the Cervavac vaccine has demonstrated its efficacy in over 90% of cervical cancer cases. This vaccine has shown a robust antibody response against all targeted HPV types, including high-risk types 16 and 18, contributing to nearly 70% of all invasive cervical cancer cases.

The two other HPV vaccines available in India are Gardasil (quadrivalent) and Cervarix (bivalent). The ideal age for vaccination is between 12 and 26 years, with priority given to girls due to the higher cervical cancer prevalence among women. It is recommended to administer the vaccine before individuals are exposed to the virus. 

HPV infection, vaccination awareness, and regular cervical screening are crucial in preventing cervical cancer, as early detection and management of precancerous conditions can significantly reduce the risk of developing cancer. Efforts should be made to educate parents and caregivers about the importance of HPV vaccination and ensure vaccine access.

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