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Cervical Cancer Vaccine Cost in India: A New Era of Prevention

Worried about cervical cancer costs in India? Fear not, Cervavac's here to shield you, at a price that won't make you faint! Get the information here.

  • Cancer

By Shruti Samant

21st May '22

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Overview

Cervical cancer throws a dark shadow on India, killing one woman every eight minutes. It’s one of the most common cancers in women here and among those younger than 45 years.

1.23 lakh new cases each year shattered families, and a devastating void are left behind.

The culprit? 

70% of these cancers are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). When administered before infection, the quadrivalent vaccine targets four major HPV strains and is associated with a 9% reduction in cervical cancers.

Let's take a look at some statistics.

  • 123,907 new cases of cervical cancer are reported each year in India.
  • 77,348 women die of the disease annually, leading to broken families and communities.

Unfortunately, early detection through Pap smears and HPV testing remains poor with late-stage diagnoses often being made.

Before we discuss the cost, let's first know what the HPV vaccine is.

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HPV is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections. And this virus has been present in 99.7% of all cases of cervical cancer across the globe. The WHO states that HPV 16 and 18 are responsible for about 70% of cases involving cervical cancer.
Some of these imaging procedures that are conducted to diagnose cancer include CT scans, bone scans MRI, biopsy tests and PET scans.
The vaccine for HPV stimulates the body to produce antibodies. In case of future encounters with HPV, these antibodies will prevent the virus’s reach to cells and cancer occurrence.
Two HPV vaccine types are accessible in India – the Gardasil vaccine and Cervarix. Cervarix protects against HPV 16 and 18 whereas Gardasil blocks 6, with the main difference between both vaccines being their target virus types.
Cervarix is an HPV vaccine for women only while Gardasil can be given to both men and women. Additionally, in 2021 India introduced its first gender-neutral HPV vaccine – Gardasil9 for both boys and girls.

Are you aware about the costs of HPV Vaccines in India?  Let's get to know in detail.

HPV Vaccine Cost in India

HPV vaccine price in India in 2024 ranges between:

Cervavac (India's indigenous vaccine):

  • Government program: Rs. 200-400 per dose (subsidized rate)
  • Private practitioners: Rs. 1400-1600 per dose

Gardasil (imported vaccine):

  • Private market: Rs. 3500 per dose.

The cost of the HPV vaccine in India varies depending on the type of vaccine. The quadrivalent vaccine, Gardasil-4, is priced at around ₹3,957 per dose. The latest nonavalent vaccine, Gardasil-9, is more expensive, costing around ₹11,000 per dose. 

Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations are given in 2 to 3 doses, depending on the patient's age at the time of the initial vaccination.

Brand

Non-subsidized Rate in INR 2023

Equivalent in USD 2023 

                   Cervavac                           

Rs. 1400 - 1600 per dose  

$17 - $19 per dose

Gardasil  

Rs. 3500 per dose

$41 per dose

Other imported vaccines  

Rs. 3000 - Rs. 11000 per dose 

$36 - $119 per dose

Cervical cancer vaccine cost in India is much less compared with the developed nations of the world. Given below are the cervical cancer vaccine costs country-wise: 

CountryHPV Vaccine Cost

India

$17 - $19 

UK

$220 

USA

$250 

Singapore

$180 

Turkey

$120 

Note: Please note that these prices are subject to change, and it is advisable to check with your healthcare provider for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

What is the difference between Gardasil and Cervarix Vaccines?

Gardasil and Cervarix are both vaccines developed to prevent the human papillomavirus HPV, a common sexually transmitted infection that may cause cervical cancer among other health complications. However, there are key differences between them:

1. HPV Strains Covered:

  • Gardasil: Originally, Gardasil was a vaccine guarding four strains of HPV – 6,11,16 and 16 and 18% of HPV cause cervical cancer, while types 6 and 10 are responsible for genital warts. Gardasil, its newer version, Gardasil 9 covers five more cancer-causing strains 31, 33.
  • Cervarix: One of these vaccines involves protection against HPV types 16 and 18, the two strains that are typically associated with cervical cancer.

2. Gender Usage:

  • Gardasil: Initially, it was approved for use in both females and males. It not only avoids cervical cancer in women but also helps to keep off genital warts and anus, vulva, and vagina cancers. For males, it can prevent genital warts and anal cancer.
  • Cervarix: Primarily for females and mainly focuses on cervical cancer prevention.

3. Vaccine Technology: 

Gardasil: 1 It is a vaccine recombinant technology that utilizes genetically modified virus-like particles VLPs from the outer protein of HPV.

Cervarix: Additionally employs a similar VLP technology but incorporates its adjuvant, AS04 proprietary of that company tailored to augment immune reaction.

4. Duration of Protection:

Both vaccines offer long-term protection with the duration of protection being similar. However, it is still under research what the precise time for this immunity lasts and whether booster shots are required.

5. Efficacy:

It has been demonstrated that both vaccines are highly effective in preventing attacks with HPV types 16 and 18. Gardasil also demonstrates effectiveness against other HPV types causing cancer and genital warts with a wider range.

6. Approval and Availability:

  • Gardasil: It is widely available and approved in many countries around the world for both females and males.
  • Cervarix: Also very adequate but predominantly on female immunization regimes.

7. Scheduling:

The vaccination schedule is usually similar, carried out in pairs or three injection regimens over several months varying by the age when first immunized.

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How Does the HPV Vaccine Prevent Cervical Cancer?

The HPV vaccine protects patients from viral diseases in the same manner that other vaccines do. It increases antibody production in the body, thus preventing the virus from infecting cells in the future.

Stages of Cervical Cancer

In today's HPV vaccines, virus-like particles (VLP) are used. Despite the presence of HPV surface components, the vaccinations are not infectious due to the absence of the HPV DNA. The VLPs promote large-scale antibody creation in the body. 

However, please note that the HPV vaccine does not protect against other sexually transmitted diseases or treat existing HPV infections or problems.

As you already know about the costs of HPV vaccine, now let's know about age criteria for HPV vaccine.

Who Should Get the HPV Vaccine for Cervical Cancer?

HPV vaccine for cervical cancer should be given to the following people: 

  • Children and adults from 9 to 26 years old: For best effectiveness, the cervical cancer vaccine age is from 11 to 12 years old. It can be administered to girls and boys as early as age 9. The vaccine will show the best results if girls and boys receive the shot before being sexually active. The vaccine will not be very effective once someone is already infected with HIV. Moreover, young children respond to the vaccine better than older people. 

In theory, vaccinating boys against cervical cancer might also protect girls from the virus by reducing transmission. 

  • Adults from 27 to 45 years old: While there is no cervical cancer vaccine age limit, it is not recommended for all adults from 27 to 46 years old. People in this category take the vaccine for HPV in India only after consulting their doctors. Since people in this age range are already exposed to the virus, the vaccine’s effectiveness goes down. 

How is the Cervical Cancer Vaccine in India Administered?

Studies suggest that widespread HPV vaccination and cervical cancer screening could prevent up to 70% of cervical cancer cases (IARC, 2020). In India's context, this translates to potentially averting 24 lakh cases (2.4 million) based on current incidence rates. So, vaccination is really important.

Age for taking HPV vaccine in India

The cervical cancer injection is given as a series of shots.

  • Kids and teens from age 9 to 14: The cancer vaccine in India is given in 2 shots throughout 6 to 12 months. 
  • Teens and young adults from age 15 to 26: The HPV vaccine is given in 3 shots over 6 months. Children aged 9 to 14, having weaker immune systems might also receive three shots. 
  • Adults aged 26 to 45: Doctors discuss HPV vaccination with adults most likely to benefit. Likewise, the number of doses is also decided and administered. Otherwise, HPV vaccination doesn’t need to be discussed with most adults over the age of 26. 

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Where can you get the HPV vaccine for cervical cancer in India?

Many reputed hospitals and centers are administering the HPV vaccines in India. Here is a list of the five best for you: 

 

 I. Apollo Hospital, Mumbai

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  • Apollo Hospital offers top-class multidisciplinary healthcare services.
  • From preventive health care and routine wellness to innovative life-saving treatments and diagnostic services, it offers 360 degree healthcare solutions. 
  • Doctors at Apollo strongly recommend young girls get cervical cancer vaccines.

 II. Narayana Hospital, Kolkata

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  • Narayana Multispecialty Hospital is an Indian chain of multi-speciality hospitals, spread across various Indian cities. 
  • It has a great reputation in the healthcare ecosystem for services like bone marrow transplants, breast cancer treatment and cardiac surgery. 
  • Doctors here believe the HPV vaccine and regular cervical screenings are the best way to win over cervical cancer.  
     

 III. Oyster Multispecialty Clinic, Bangalore

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  • Oyster Multispecialty Clinic was established in 2005 as a multidisciplinary hospital. 
  • It is one of the best hospitals in Bangalore that provides HPV vaccines for cervical cancer.
  • This hospital is famous for its services like obstetrics, female fertility treatment, lactation counseling, gynae problems, ultrasound and so on

 

 IV. Tulip Women’s Hospital, Ahmedabad

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  • Tulip Hospital is an apex center for women’s care and laparoscopic surgery.
  • It is also one of the leading IVF centers in Ahmedabad. 
  • It is one of the best hospitals in Ahmedabad which provides HPV vaccines against cervical cancer.
     

V. MIOT International Hospital, Chennai

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  • MIOT is ranked as India’s no. 1 orthopedics hospital.  
  • They are reputed for their expertise in joint replacement surgeries, interventional cardiology, orthopedics, and trauma management. 
  • It is one of Chennai's top cancer hospitals, providing the HPV vaccine against cervical cancer.

Now, let's see if the Government has any schemes to provide HPV vaccines.

Does the Government Provide Free HPV Vaccines for Cervical Cancer in India?

In India, the government is striving hard to introduce an HPV vaccine that immunizes against cervical cancer in its national vaccination program. By making an effort, the Serum Institute of India has come up with a cost-effective HPV vaccine called Cervavac ranging from Rs. 200 to Rs. 400 per dose. This vaccine would be more accessible to a larger population, even those of lower income. 

The government’s decision to incorporate this vaccine into the national immunization program is an important move through which the prevalence of cervical cancer in the country can be significantly reduced. This move is likely to play a significant role in enhancing the health of women in India.

Who Should Avoid Getting the HPV Vaccine?

Certain people shouldn’t get the HPV vaccination. The vaccine may not suit them and cause harm to their health. Following are the people who should avoid getting the HPV vaccine for cervical cancer:

  • Pregnant women.
  • Individuals allergic to yeast should avoid Gardasil and Gardasil 9.
  • Individuals with a life-threatening allergic reaction to any ingredient of an HPV vaccine.

Let's take a look at how beneficial HPV vaccine is!

What are the Benefits of the HPV vaccine? 

  • The HPV vaccination is primarily used to protect against cancers that are commonly caused by HPV infections.
  • HPV vaccines are suggested since HPV 16 and 18 are responsible for almost 76.7 percent of cervical cancer incidences in India.
  • Furthermore, the HPV vaccination helps protect women from acquiring cervical cancer.
  • The HPV vaccination, like any other vaccine, works on the human body to strengthen the body's immune response.
  • The papillomavirus vaccination causes the human body to create antibodies that attach to the virus and protect human cells against infection.
  • As a result, vaccination activates the body's basic immunological reaction.
  • A secondary immune response is formed when the human papillomavirus infects the body.
  • It is more efficient than the first, assisting in the battle against the virus.
  • The HPV vaccine schedule must be adhered to for the vaccine to be effective.
  • The HPV vaccine regimen varies according to age and other factors.

What Are the Side Effects of HPV Vaccines?

Here are the cervical cancer vaccine side effects that one may feel after receiving a shot: 

Conclusion: 

The cervical cancer vaccine is a vital healthcare advancement in India. It not only represents a significant step in cancer prevention but also reflects the country's commitment to improving women's health. The variation in vaccine pricing, as noted in the article, suggests an effort to balance affordability and accessibility across different economic segments in India. This strategic pricing is crucial for widespread vaccine adoption, potentially leading to a substantial decrease in cervical cancer cases in the long term.

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