Indonesia’s state-owned vaccine developer Bio Farma signed a technology transfer agreement to produce Merck & Co. human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine to fight cervical cancer in this South Asian country.
According to Bio Farma’s press release, the company will locally produce the MSD 4-valent HPV vaccine.
Bio Farma and the American pharmaceutical company Merck & Co. have had a partnership since 2016.
Over 36,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer, and 21,003 die from the disease in Indonesia annually. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly all cases of cervical cancer can be attributed to HPV infection.
HPV vaccines are already used in Indonesia, but the country’s government plans to scale up immunizations in 2023.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the HPV vaccine for routine vaccination at ages 11 or 12 years and everyone through age 26 years if not adequately vaccinated when younger.
However, vaccination is not recommended for people older than age 26.