Medical company Merck Sharpe and Dohme (MSD) launched a vaccine against the cancer-causing Human Papillomavirus (HPV) in South Africa on Wednesday.
This follows the earlier launch of a similar product by pharmaceutical giant, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).
MSD Medical Director Dr Beverley Cowper said the vaccine helped protect against cervical cancer, abnormal and pre-cancerous cervical lesions and genital, vaginal or vulva infections.
"The vaccine will be available on the market from April 7 with a Schedule 2 (S2) status."
"This means that the vaccine will be available from any pharmacy across the country and individuals do not require a prescription to purchase the vaccine," said Cowper.
According to MSD, the vaccine is priced at R770.00 per injection.
Worldwide, a woman dies of cervical cancer every two minutes. In South Africa these statistics are even worse. Here, each year approximately 6700 women will develop cervical cancer while an estimated 3700 will die from the disease. In South Africa a woman's risk of developing cervical cancer in her lifetime is one in 26.
Cervical Cancer Centre