Vaccinating adolescents against cervical cancer: why the India’s Finance Minister’s announcement is important?

Cervical cancer vaccination is very important in India. Because the number of people affected by this disease is very high in India. Many women also died in cervical cancer. Although this disease mainly occurs in middle-aged people, vaccination should be done in the teenage years.

The central government will take initiatives to prevent cervical cancer. This is what Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in the budget speech on 1st Feb 2024. She said, “For Which, girls aged 9 to 14 will be vaccinated.” However, Nirmala did not say when this program would start. However, his announcement made it clear that cervical cancer is a cause for concern in India. That is why the center wants to take up the HPV vaccination program.

Incidentally, cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among women in India. At least one lakh twenty thousand women are affected by this disease every year in the country. At least 77,000 women die annually. Doctors say that vaccination at a young age can reduce the chances of this cancer. That is why the Center is thinking of starting a vaccination program. According to the sources of the Ministry of Health, this program will be implemented in three phases for three years. The program will start only when at least seven crore units of vaccines are collected.

Private vaccines are already available. A year ago, the Serum Institute of India launched an HPV vaccine called Cervavac. The price of two doses is like four thousand rupees. Apart from this, an HPV vaccine called Gardasil manufactured by American multinational Merck is available in India. The price of one dose is 10 thousand 850 Rupees.

According to numerous studies, about 99% of cases of this cancer are caused by viral infections. The disease can also be eradicated by taking the vaccine to prevent this virus and being aware of the prevention rules. Doctors say awareness about cervical cancer is very important in our country. Because, 25 percent of those who are dying of this disease in the world are from India. Usually 38 to 42 years old are affected by this disease. It can also happen after age 60, but the number is relatively low.

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