Last Thursday the FDA approved the first vaccine to help prevent cervical cancer. It is called Gardasil and can prevent cancer and other diseases such as genital warts caused by Human Papillomavirus (HPV) types 6, 11, 16 and 18.
Worldwide 300,000 women die from cervical cancer, 4,000 women in the US. Around half of adults in the US are infected with HPV however it is mostly harmless.
Unfortunately it is only been approved for women and girls from ages 9-26. Apparently it is only effective if given before a person has been infected with the virus.
Gardasil is given as a series of three shots over a six month period, which cost about $360 or more.
Women who get the vaccine still need to have regular cervical cancer screening since the vaccine doesn’t stop all cancer-causing HPV strains.
Meanwhile studies are being done to test Gardasil in older women and in men.
Gardasil is made by Merck & Co. Inc.
For more information see:
Also a great discussion about how Focus on the Family is against the vaccine even though it could save thousands of live can be read here: Focus on the Family Opposes HPV vaccine
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