Serum institute of india plans to ramp up HPV vaccine supply for government immunization campaign.

The Serum Institute of India aims to significantly increase the supply of its human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine as part of a government immunization campaign against the cancer-causing virus. Adar Poonawalla, CEO of the world’s largest vaccine maker, anticipates the vaccine’s inclusion in the government’s program by the end of the year, providing shots at more affordable rates.

Currently priced at 2,000 rupees ($24.13) in the private market, the indigenous HPV vaccine addresses a significant aspect of cervical cancer prevention. Serum Institute plans to enhance production capacity to meet the increasing demand, particularly for a potential rollout of 50 million doses in India.

The government initiative targets administering the HPV vaccine to girls aged between nine and 14 years to combat cervical cancer, a prevalent form of cancer among women in India. Although no official contract is in place yet, Poonawalla anticipates the government procuring 40 to 50 million doses through a tender process in December.

Competing with other HPV vaccine manufacturers such as Merck & Co and GSK Plc for government contracts, Serum Institute is committed to making the vaccine substantially cheaper when supplied to the government, potentially eight times less expensive.

Serum Institute, known for producing AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine (Covishield) in India, is leveraging its facilities for HPV vaccine production. While facing operational constraints due to ongoing efforts related to COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing, Serum Institute is in the process of seeking WHO pre-qualification and anticipates exporting HPV shots to other countries starting in 2026.