France, Sept. 4 -- India's homegrowncervical cancer shot,announced on Thursday, will be made available first to the country's poorest before being exported to other countries in need.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 4.1 million women have died of cervical cancersince 2019 in India,where it's the second most frequent cancer among women aged between 15 and 44.

Ninety-nine percent of cervical cancer cases are linked to infection with high-risk human papillomaviruses (HPV), an extremely common virus transmitted through sexual contact, says the WHO.

Announcing the first indigenous vaccine against HPV on Thursday, science and technology minister Jitendra Singhsaid the Covid-19 pandemic had underscored the importance of prev...