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Vaccination of girls against cervical cancer likely to begin in six states in June: Sources

New Delhi: The government is likely to begin administering anti-cervical cancer vaccine in girls aged nine to 14 years in six states in June, official sources said on Sunday. In the first phase of the vaccination campaign, 2.55 crore girls are targeted to be administered the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Mizoram, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh, an official source told news agency PTI.

The Union Health Ministry has drawn a roadmap to roll out HPV vaccine in the universal immunisation programme and is likely to float a global tender in April for 16.02 crore doses to be procured by 2026, official sources said. The Serum Institute’s made-in-India vaccine against cervical cancer, CERVAVAC, was launched last month.

Prakash Kumar Singh, Director of Government and Regulatory Affairs at the Serum Institute of India (SII)erum Institute of India (SII), has written a letter to the Health Ministry its first indigenous HPV vaccine will be available in the private market at an MRP of Rs 2,000 per dose, it has been learnt. CERVAVAC will be available in two-dose glass vial presentation.

Singh is learnt to have communicated in his letter that CERVAVAC will be supplied at an affordable rate whenever the Health Ministry floats a tender.

Currently, only one HPV vaccine — American multinational Merck’s Gardasil — is available in the private market in single-dose pre-filled syringe presentation and its price is Rs 10,850. India is home to about 16 per cent of the world’s women, but it accounts for about a quarter of all cervical cancer incidences and nearly a third of global cervical cancer deaths.

Indian women face a 1.6 per cent lifetime cumulative risk of developing cervical cancer and 1 per cent cumulative death risk from cervical cancer, officials had stated. According to some recent estimates, every year almost 80,000 women develop cervical cancer and 35,000 die due to it in India.





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