The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Dr Jitendra Singh on Thursday announced India’s first indigenously developed vaccine, “CERVAVAC” for the prevention of cervical cancer.
Announcing the scientific completion of the quadrivalent Human Papilloma Virus (qHPV) vaccine in presence of Adar C. Poonawalla, CEO, Serum Institute of India, Pune and other prominent scientists and dignitaries, Dr Jitendra Singh said, this affordable and cost- effective vaccine marks an important day for DBT and BIRAC as it takes India a step closer to PM Modi’s vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat.
Dr Jitendra Singh pointed out that Cervical cancer ranks at the 2nd most prevalent cancers in India and accounts for nearly one-fourth of the world’s cervical cancer deaths despite being largely preventable.
He said, current estimates indicate that every year approximately 1.25 lakh women are diagnosed with cervical cancer, and over 75,000 die from the disease in India.
The Minister said the most promising intervention for preventing cervical cancer is vaccination against human papillomavirus (HPV).
It is estimated that HPV types 16 and 18 (HPV-16 and HPV-18) together contribute to approximately 70% of all invasive cervical cancer cases worldwide.
Dr Jitendra Singh pointed out that COVID has awakened us to the virtues of preventive healthcare, particularly in a society like India having less awareness of preventive Medicare due to various socio-economic factors.
Film actress Manisha Koirala was also present at the occasion that bravely fought and won the battle against ovarian cancer joined virtually to thank the Ministry of Science and Technology.
She said, this a great day for women in India and women world over, as there is life beyond cancer. She said, cost effective preventive treatment will inspire millions of such patients to say “Yes to Life”.