Low-cost HPV vaccine to be available soon

February 07, 2022 10:32 pm | Updated 10:32 pm IST - KANNUR

The Serum Institute of India will soon bring out a low-cost indigenous Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine against cervical cancer, Dr. Umesh Shaligram, Executive Director of Serum Institute of India, has said. Speaking at a webinar on ‘HPV vaccine and cervical cancer, everything to know’, organised by Kannur-based Malabar Cancer Care Society, he said the vaccine would be a huge relief to lakhs of mothers and girl children across the country. He also said that the vaccine would be affordable and safe. Though cervical cancer can be eradicated, up to 60,000 deaths are reported in India annually due to the disease. Dr. Hitt Sharma, the scientist in charge of the HPV vaccine project, said that the vaccine would be made available to boys too. According to him, the low-cost HPV vaccine could be taken by girls at the age of 9 and the second dose after six months. It provides life-long safety from cervical cancer. Mr. Sharma said that the HPV vaccine was not included in the National Immunisation Programme, as it involved huge financial burden for the government. Once the Indian vaccine is available, the Serum Institute have plans to get it included in the National Vaccination Programme on a war footing, he said.

The webinar was organised as part of World Cancer Day and was chaired by D. Krishnanadha Pai. Dr. Hitt Sharma was the guest of honour.

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