Why in News?
- India is expected to roll out the indigenously has recently developed CERVAVAC vaccine for the prevention of cervical cancer among girls aged 9-14 years through their schools by mid-2023
- The decision was based on the National Technical Advisory Group for Immunisation (NTAGI) recommendation to introduce the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine in the Universal Immunisation Programme.
- It Is India’s first indigenously developed quadrivalent human papillomavirus (qHPV) vaccine that is said to be effective against four strains of the virus – Type 6, Type 11, Type 16 and Type 18.
- A quadrivalent vaccine is a vaccine that works by stimulating an immune response against four different antigens, such as four different viruses or other microorganisms.
- CERVAVAC is based on VLP (Virus-Like Particles), similar to the Hepatitis B vaccination.
- The vaccine has received the Drugs Controller GeneraI of India’s approval and has been cleared by the government advisory panel NTAGI for use in the public health programme.
- It has a significant potential to eliminate cervical cancer and it would be helpful if included in national HPV vaccination efforts and offered at a lower cost than existing vaccinations.
- The vaccine Is extremely effective only when it’s administered before the first sexual intercourse.
- Cervical cancer develops in a woman’s cervix. It is the 4th most common type of cancer among women, globally and 2nd most common among women in India.
- India contributes the largest share of the global cervical cancer burden; nearly 1 in every 4 deaths globally due to cervical cancer (as per The Lancet study).
- Almost all cervical cancer cases (99%) are linked to infection with high-risk HPV, an extremely common virus transmitted through sexual contact.
- Effective primary (HPV vaccination) and secondary prevention approaches (screening for and treating precancerous lesions) will prevent most cervical cancer cases.
- When diagnosed, cervical cancer is one of the most successfully treatable forms of cancer, as long as it is detected early and managed effectively.