Indian Vaccine Could Revolutionize Cancer Treatment Worldwide

India Launches Nationwide Immunization Campaign To Combat HPV

India is set to launch a nationwide immunization campaign in April to vaccinate girls aged 9-14 against human papillomavirus (HPV), the leading cause of cervical cancer in India, with the World Health Organization statinf 4.1 million women have died from the disease since 2019.

The Indian Council of Medical Research, the Technical Advisory Group on Immunization, and the Ministry of Health have developed a roadmap and social mobilization strategy, building on their successful Covid-19 vaccination program. The vaccine, called “Cervavac”, was developed by the Serum Institute of India and offers protection against four different strains of HPV.

Clinical trials for Cervavac have yielded good results and it will be available for 2.2-4.5 euros per dose. Serum Institute hopes to produce 200 million doses within the next two years.

Experts point out that the availability of a cheaper and effective vaccine could reduce the financial strain on the Indian government and significantly reduce the incidence rate of this cancer. Coordinator Sarojini Nadimpally says that healthcare centres need to be better staffed to carry out disease assessments, while epidemiologist Giridhara Babu believes public-private partnerships could expand the coverage of the immunization campaign to 50 million girls.

Early detection programs and raising awareness of the importance of vaccinations could help improve vaccine acceptability. As India’s second largest population, the successful implementation of this immunization campaign could serve to effectively combat cervical cancer worldwide.

Picture: Shutterstock

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