New Delhi: In a landmark achievement in India’s medical science, the first indigenously developed Quadrivalent Human Papillomavirus vaccine (qHPV) against Cervical Cancer is being launched in the capital today (September 1, 2022). The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) had last month granted market authorisation to the Serum Institute of India (SII) to manufacture an indigenously-developed vaccine against cervical cancer.
According to Dr NK Arora, Chairperson of the Covid working group, National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) said it is an exciting experience to launch a made-in-India vaccine.”It is very exciting and I must say it makes us very happy that our daughters and granddaughters will now be able to get this much-awaited vaccine,” Dr Arora said, adding, “In fact, this is one of the last major vaccines to be introduced. In fact, this is one of the last vaccines that will be launched in the programme. Now, Indian vaccines will be available and we hope that it will be launched in the National Immunisation programme for 9-14-year-old girls.”
“It is very effective and prevents cervical cancer because, in 85 per cent to 90 per cent of cases, cervical cancer is because of this particular virus and this vaccine is against those viruses. So, if we give it to our young children and daughters, they are protected from the infection and consequently probably 30 years later, cancer does not occur,” Dr Arora further explained.”There was a shortage in the global market. Now Indian vaccine has come. So, we will be able to take care of our requirements within our made-in-India vaccine,” Dr Arora said.
Union Minister of Science and Technology Jitendra Singh will launch the vaccine at IIC Delhi. SII CEO Adar Poonawalla will be present at the event, the officials said. According to the officials, the qHPV vaccine CERVAVAC has demonstrated a robust antibody response that is nearly 1,000 times higher than the baseline against all targeted HPV types and in all dose and age groups.
Cervical cancer in India ranks as the second most frequent cancer among women between 15 and 44 years of age. The DCGI’s approval had come following a recommendation by the Subject Expert Committee (SEC) on Covid-19 of the CDSCO on June 15 after Prakash Kumar Singh, director (government and regulatory affairs) at Serum Institute, had applied to the DCGI seeking market authorisation of qHPV after the phase second and third clinical trial was completed with the support of the Department of Biotechnology under the Ministry of Science and Technology to ensure its early availability.
(With inputs from ANI, PTI)