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Gardasil (Quadrivalent Human Papillomavairus Virus Vaccine)
What is HPV?
HPV, human Papillomavirus, is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the U.S. and has been known to cause abnormal Pap test results, genital warts and cervical cancer. Most HPV infections don't cause any symptoms and go away on their own. But some types of HPV can cause genital warts and other types can cause pre cancerous abnormal cell changes that can lead to cervical cancer.
More than 20 million people in the U.S. are infected with HPV and about 6.2 million more get infected each year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that over one quarter of girls and women between the ages of 14 and 59 have HPV and nearly 45% of the women between 20 and 24 are infected.
The American Cancer Society recently reported that in 2007 and estimated 11,000 new cases of cervical cancer will be diagnosed and 3,700 will die from it. Most cervical cancers in this country are linked to an infection with HPV. Now there is a new vaccine that can protect against 4 of the more common strains of the virus (two of those strains are related to about 70% of the cervical cancer that occurs and the other two strains are related to more than 90% of the genital warts).
What is the HPV Vaccine?
The HPV vaccine contains inactivated and noninfectious viral proteins that protect against four major types of HPV that are responsible for 90% of genital warts and 70% of cervical cancers. The vaccine is given as a three-dose series, with the second dose given two months after dose one and the third dose given six months after dose one.
The vaccine is safe and effective and is FDA approved for females aged 9 - 26 years old. It is routinely being offered at the 11-12 year old visit. It is most effective if given before the onset of sexual activity since those who have not been infected with any of the vaccine type HPV would receive the full benefit of the vaccination. However, females who are sexually active may also benefit from the vaccine by deriving protection from HPV vaccine types that they have not acquired.
How can I receive the HPV vaccine?
Brady Health Center does have the Gardasil vaccine in stock and it can be administered at the health center. Call for an appointment. The cost is $135.00 per dose and is payable by cash, check or Bobcat Express. The health center does not bill insurance but we will provide a receipt that you may try and submit to your insurance company.
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