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Gardasil

Genital human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted virus in the United States. There are about 40 types of HPV. About 20 million people in the U.S. are infected, and about 6.2 million more get infected each year. The vaccine is administered in a 3 dose series: Dose #1, Dose #2 two months later, and Dose #3 six months after the first dose was administered. Additional (booster) doses are not currently recommended. HPV vaccine may be given at the same time as other vaccines. On March 23, 2007, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) issued a recommendation for the use of this vaccine in females, ages 9-26 years of age.

The Vaccine
On June 8, 2006, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) licensed the first vaccine developed to prevent cervical cancer and other diseases in females caused by certain types of genital human papillomavirus (HPV). The quadrivalent vaccine, Gardasil®, protects against four HPV types (types 6,11,16 and 18), which are responsible for 70% of cervical cancers and 90% of genital warts.

Safety Issues

  • The HPV vaccine has been tested in over 11,000 females (9-26 years of age) in many countries around the world, including the United States (U.S).
  • These studies found that the HPV vaccine was safe and caused no serious side effects. Adverse events were mainly injection site pain. This reaction was common but mild.
  • There is no thimerosal or mercury contained in the vaccine.

Who should NOT get vaccinated

  • Anyone who has ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to yeast, or to any other component of HPV vaccine, or previous dose of HPV vaccine.
  • Pregnant women (women who are breastfeeding may safely receive the vaccine)
  • People with moderate or severe illnesses should wait until they recover.

Human papillomaviurs (HPV) Information

Description

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus that infects the genital area and lining of the cervix. There are many different types of papillomavirus. Some types of HPV infect the genital areas of men and women, causing warts. Genital warts may be unsightly, but they are generally not harmful. Other types of HPV cause cervical cancer.

Symptoms

Most HPV infections don’t cause any symptoms, and go away on their own. But HPV is important mainly because it can cause cervical cancer in women. Every year in the U.S. about 10,000 women get cervical cancer and 3,700 die from it. It is the 2nd leading cause of cancer deaths among women around the world.

How the disease spread

HPV in the genital area is passed from one person to another through genital contact, most often during sex. The best way to avoid HPV infection is to abstain from any sexual activity. Although condoms are recommended as a way of decreasing sexually transmitted infections, they don’t offer complete protection against HPV.

Recommendations

The HPV vaccine is recommended for all girls between 11 and 12 years of age. The vaccine can be given to girls as young as 9 years of age. It is also recommended for all teenage and adult women between 13 and 26 years of age if they did not get the vaccine when they were younger.

For More Information
Questions about the vaccine can be answered by calling 1-866-776-8364, logging on to www.cdc.gov, or visiting www.gardasil.com.

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