Nobel recipient recommends vaccinations to reduce cancer risk

Last Updated: Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 17:06
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Hyderabad: Nobel Prize winner German virologist Harald zur Hausen has recommended vaccinations to prevent cancers linked to human papilloma viruses (HPV).

On a visit to India to address BioAsia 2014, Hausen - recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology/ Medicine in 2008 for his discovery of HPV - said 60 per cent cancers were caused by the viruses.

"Australia has the highest rate of vaccinations and there is a need to introduce global efforts to vaccinate people against viruses as cancer incidence is increasing. Twenty-one per cent of cancers worldwide were due to infections and 60 per cent of them were caused by viruses. The rest were due to bacteria and parasites," he told reporters here yesterday.

"There is a public-private cooperation in international public health. But unfortunately, India is not a party to Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisations (GAVI), under which the poorest countries have access to a sustainable supply of HPV vaccines for a low price," he said.

He called for making the vaccinations affordable, as presently the cost is around USD 130 per dose.

"The same vaccines can cost more in developed countries. I would talk to GAVI to extend the same facility to India," he said.  

PTI

First Published: Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 17:06

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