India develops its first cervical cancer vaccine

Reuters, NEW DELHI, September 1 - The first cervical cancer shot in the nation has been produced by the Serum Institute of India (SII), the largest manufacturer of vaccines in the world, and will soon be available on the market, the business and the government said on Thursday.

According to the World Health Organization, cervical cancer is the fourth most frequent disease in women overall, with an expected 604,000 new cases and 342,000 fatalities in 2020. The majority of new cases and fatalities globally that year happened in low- and middle-income nations.

At least 70% of cervical cancers are caused by two human papillomavirus (HPV) types, 16 and 18, and according to India's Department of Biotechnology, the Indian vaccination would also protect against HPV types 6 and 11.

The two largest producers of HPV vaccinations are GSK Plc (GSK.L) and Merck & Co (MRK.N).

According to a statement from SII Chief Executive Adar Poonawalla, "the locally created vaccine would make our country self-sufficient in decreasing female mortality due by cervical cancer."

In a few months, he informed reporters, the vaccine will be available for purchase, first for the Indian market and subsequently for the rest of the globe. According to Poonawalla, a Reuters partner, it may cost between 200 and 400 rupees ($2.51 and $5.03), and the business plans to generate approximately 200 million doses over the course of two years.

The vaccine will be given by injection in two doses to children aged 9 to 14 and in three doses to those aged 15 to 26.

$1 is equal to 79.5275 Indian rupees.