Bio Farma's NusaGard vaccine to be used for cervical cancer prevention

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Bio Farma's NusaGard vaccine to be used for cervical cancer prevention

President Director of PT Bio Farma, Shadiq Akasya (second left), poses for a photo with other officials during the launch of the 4-valent human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine NusaGard in Jakarta on August 2, 2023. (ANTARA/HO-Bio Farma)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - At the start of its launch, the 4-valent human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine NusaGard will only be used in the National Immunization Program (PIN) for cervical cancer control, according to PT Bio Farma.

"This vaccine is specifically for the National Immunization Program. Going forward, it (the HPV vaccine) will be needed until the age of 45," said Shadiq Akasya, the president director of the state-run vaccine producer, after the vaccine’s launch event in Jakarta on Wednesday.

Bio Farma has received an order of 3.1 million doses for the locally-produced NusaGard vaccine from the government, with the aim of vaccinating 2.9 million elementary school children aged 9–14.

The vaccine, which was developed by Bio Farma in cooperation with the global pharmaceutical company PT Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD) Indonesia, has been integrated into the School Children Immunization Month (BIAS) program starting from August 2023.

The vaccine orders are projected to continue until 2024 to meet the needs of the immunization program, in which two doses of the HPV vaccine will be given six months apart. So far, Bio Farma has not planned to commercialize NusaGard for the general public. Akasya said that his company does not yet have a price for the vaccine. At the launch event, the head of the National Food and Drug Supervisory Agency (BPOM), Penny K. Lukito, said that the NusaGard vaccine produces mild side effects in recipients. "This vaccine is for those aged 9–45 years based on the clinical trials," she added.

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Based on the evaluation results, NusaGard has an efficacy of 95–100 percent, and its protection can last 10–12 years. The vaccine has also been proven to prevent cervical cancer in females aged 9–45 years and protect males aged 9–26 years from HPV. The NusaGard vaccine is expected to receive approval from the World Health Organization (WHO) and become a Bio Farma vaccine that can be exported to 130 countries.