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Universal Immunisation Programme: To check cervical cancer, govt plans to launch HPV vaccine

After breast cancer, cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among women in India.

Written by Abantika Ghosh | New Delhi | Published: December 27, 2015 5:31 am

The health ministry wants to introduce human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine in the universal immunisation programme at the earliest. The virus is believed to be responsible for most cervical cancer cases — more than 80 per cent, according to some estimates.

The ministry has asked the sub-committee of the technical advisory group, which recommends introduction of new vaccines in the programme, to look at the incidence of cervical cancer in India and take a call on the vaccine at the earliest.

After breast cancer, cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among women in India. According to the national cancer registry data, 92,731 cases of cervical cancer were reported in India in 2013, a figure that is projected to go up to 1,00,479 in 2020 (source: National Cancer Profile).

India recently received $500 million aid from GAVI, an international vaccine alliance, for rolling out a range of vaccines, including HPV vaccine. The government wants to introduce the HPV vaccine, at least on a pilot basis, as soon as possible.

This is also because the plan to have a foolproof cancer screening programme, unde the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS), has not quite taken off, more than five years after it was started.

“We are keen to get HPV off the block at the earliest. Ordinarily, it is the sub-committee of the National Technical Advisory Group that looks at available data on a particular disease, and the projections of what happens with the introduction of the vaccine, to take a call on the introduction of a vaccine. The group then sends a recommendation to the government on the introduction of that vaccine. In this case, we have asked the sub-committee to look at the pros and cons of introduction of HPV vaccine and get back to us at the earliest,” said a source in the health ministry.

Three doses of the cervical cancer vaccine — two varieties are currently available in India — are essential for immunity to HPV. The cost of each dose, after negotiations between GAVI and vaccine manufacturers, has been reduced to less than $5.

With HPV covered in the GAVI support over the next five years, the Centre does not need to worry about the cost for now. This is the first time that GAVI is giving financial support to India, rather than the material support.

What is HPV?

HPV is a group of 150 viruses, known to cause warts or papillomas. Some can cause cancer, particularly cervical cancer.

# HPV vaccine should be administered at 11-12 years of age. Catch-up vaccines are recommended for men at 21 and women at 26, if there was no vaccination earlier.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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  1. J
    May 21, 2016 at 3:42 am
    This is called "pharmaceutical mafiagenda"....dians will become guinea pigs if the govt. allows such notorious vaccines ... But in this case, the sideefect of vaccination is death as seen in Andhra women deaths.....Let people decide whether to protest against such vaccines and save themselves...
    1. M
      Jul 24, 2016 at 8:17 pm
      I can’t believe this. A great testimony that i must share to all patient of [HPV] in the world. i never believed that there could be any complete cure for HUMAN PAPILLOMA VIRUS or any cure for HUMAN PAPILLOMA VIRUS, Mrs JANE introduce me to DR.charlse a herbal doctor who lives in Africa who brought him back to life again. so i had to try it too and you can,t believe that in just few weeks i started using the herbal medicine he sent to me. Right now i can tell you that few months now i have not had any symptoms of HPV and i have just went for test last week and the doctor confirmed that there is no trace of any HPV in my body system. Glory be to God for leading me to this genuine Doctor I am so happy as i am sharing this testimony. My advice to you all who thinks that their is no cure for HPV that is Not true ,just contact him and get cure from DR.charlse via his Email or whatsapp him on 2348102460821 lt;br/gt;and you will be free forever.
      1. H
        Dec 27, 2015 at 1:19 am
        Even though the HPV vaccine was banned after death of more than 27 women in Andra Pradesh during clinical trials, the CORRUPT health ministry has decided to again audatiously introduce the same vaccine after heavily bribed by the CORRUPT UNITED NATIONS that has virtually become the MARKETING AGENCY FOR MANY FOREIGN PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES. HOW DARE TO BUSTARDS WILL SELL THE LIFE OF INDIANS FOR A SONG AND HOW MANY TIMES?
        1. I
          Dec 30, 2015 at 6:25 am
          You are absolutely right, my friend. It is a mive depotion agenda being tom-tommed by the criminal cabal of international bankers who control major insutions such as the WHO