Just last year, in December 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Gardisil 9, a new vaccine that prevents diseases caused by nine types of Human Papillomavirus (HPV). While the first generation of the Gardasil vaccine protected against only four viruses, Gardasil 9 has been formulated to cover five additional types. The new vaccine adds protection against HPV types 31, 33, 45, 52 and 58 – which cause approximately 20 percent of cervical cancers.
Even though Gardasil 9 protects against 5 additional strains, there are over 100 types of Human Papillomavirus that exist, and the virus has been known to spread and mutate. Nonetheless, Karen Midthun, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said, “Vaccination is a critical public health measure for lowering the risk of most cervical, genital and anal cancers caused by HPV.”
How does it Work?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend females and males aged 9 through 26 receive the three shot series. The initial dose is then followed by shots given at two and six months. The cost of the entire shot series is approximately $300 dollars, and many insurance carriers cover both Gardasil and Gardasil 9. Adverse reactions to the shot include: injection site pain, swelling, redness, and headaches.
So Am I Protected 100%?
While the former Gardasil vaccine provided protection against 70% of HPV cases, the new Gardasil 9 is slated to provide protection against 90% of cervical, vulvar, vaginal and anal cancers. Even though this is a huge improvement compared to the first vaccine, individuals should be aware that at least 10% of HPV cases are NOT covered. Thus, it is still important that you get screened for HPV as well as get a routine pap smear. The Uptown Women’s Center does not screen for HPV, but we do provide complimentary screening and treatment for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea (the two most common bacterial sexually transmitted illnesses). Call 214/220-0222 to book a confidential appointment today.
Moffitt Cancer Center Researcher Explains Benefit of New Gardasil 9 Vaccine on YouTube Guardasil 9
Is the Uptown Women’s Center endorsing this vaccine?
At the Uptown Women’s Center, we strive to meet the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health needs of all clients. However, we do not specifically endorse any vaccine or medical treatment. As always, you need to talk to your health care provider about any medical procedure or vaccination based on your personal health needs and history.