Cervavac, India’s first indigenously developed quadrivalent human papillomavirus (qHPV) has created a lot of buzz in the recent past since it promises to prevent cervical cancer at a very low cost than the currently available vaccines in the global market. Many queries are bound to emerge in the minds of Indian parents who are little bit confused about the safety ,efficacy, dosing and all details about the new vaccine since this vaccine has to be used in their teenage child. Since January is the cervical cancer awareness month lets discuss in details about the new Indian cervical cancer vaccine.
What is HPV vaccine and cervical cancer?
HPV vaccines protect against infection with human papillomaviruses (HPV). HPV is a group of more than 200 related viruses, of which more than 40 are spread through direct sexual contact. Among these, two HPV types cause genital warts, and about a dozen HPV types can cause certain types of cancer cervical, anal, oropharyngeal, penile, vulvar, and vaginal.
Three vaccines that prevent infection with disease-causing HPV have been licensed worldwide: Gardasil, Gardasil 9, and Cervarix since 2016.
Why is HPV vaccination important?
The combination of HPV vaccination and cervical screening can provide the greatest protection against cervical cancer. Also, HPV vaccination reduces the risk of developing cancers caused by HPV at sites other than the cervix.
Not only does vaccination protect vaccinated individuals against infection by the HPV types targeted by the vaccine that is used (and possibly other types, depending on the extent of cross protection), but vaccination can also reduce the prevalence of the vaccine-targeted HPV types in the population, thereby reducing infection in individuals who are not vaccinated (a phenomenon called herd protection, or herd immunity). For example, in Australia, where a high proportion of girls are vaccinated with Gardasil, the incidence of genital warts went down during the first 4 years of the vaccination program among young males—who were not being vaccinated at the time—as well as among young females.
Who should get HPV vaccination?
• Children and adults ages 9 through 26 years. HPV vaccination is routinely recommended at age 11 or 12 years; vaccination can be started at age 9 years. HPV vaccination is recommended for all persons through age 26 years who were not adequately vaccinated earlier. It is best to get vaccinated before the first sexual contact.
• Adults ages 27 through 45 years. Although the HPV vaccine is Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved to be given through age 45 years, HPV vaccination is not recommended for all adults ages 27 through 45 years. Instead, clinicians consider discussing with their patients in this age group who were not adequately vaccinated earlier whether HPV vaccination is right for them. HPV vaccination in this age range provides less benefit because more people have already been exposed to the virus.
How many doses of HPV vaccine are needed?
Children who start the vaccine series before their 15th birthday need only two doses to be fully protected. They should get the second dose 1 month after first dose.
People who start the series at age 15 or older and people who have certain conditions that weaken the immune system need three doses to be fully protected. Doses should be taken at 0,1 and 6 month interval.
Who should not get the HPV vaccine?
The HPV vaccine isn’t recommended for pregnant women or people who are moderately or severely ill or persons having any severe allergies, including an allergy to yeast or latex. Also, if you’ve had a life-threatening allergic reaction to any component of the vaccine or to a previous dose of the vaccine, you shouldn’t get the vaccine.
Does the HPV vaccine offer benefits if you’re already sexually active?
Yes. Even if you already have one strain of HPV, you could still benefit from the vaccine because it can protect you from other strains that you don’t yet have. However, none of the vaccines can treat an existing HPV infection. The vaccines protect you only from specific strains of HPV you haven’t been exposed to already
Does the HPV vaccine carry any health risks or side effects?
Overall, the effects are usually mild. The most common side effects of HPV vaccines include soreness, swelling or redness at the injection site. Sometimes dizziness or fainting occurs after the injection. Remaining seated for 15 minutes after the injection can reduce the risk of fainting. Headaches, nausea, vomiting, fatigue or weakness also may occur.
Do women who’ve received the HPV vaccine still need to have Pap tests?
Yes. The HPV vaccine isn’t intended to replace Pap tests. Routine screening for cervical cancer through regular Pap tests beginning at age 21 remains an essential part of preventive health care.
What can you do to protect yourself from cervical cancer if you’re not in the recommended vaccine age group?
HPV spreads through sexual contact — oral, vaginal or anal. To protect yourself from HPV, use a condom every time you have sex. In addition, don’t smoke. Smoking raises the risk of cervical cancer.
What will be the cost?
Serum Institute has promised to supply the vaccines at a mere cost of Rs 300-400 as compared to other international vaccines which are available at a cost of Rs 2000-3000.Government may include the vaccines in National Immunisation Schedule so that it can be supplied free of cost to the general public.