Feds Approve Unnecessary Cervical Cancer Vaccine That Will Make Drug Company Billions
July 15, 2006
All 11- and 12-year-old girls should receive a new vaccine to prevent infection with human papillomavirus (HPV), the most common cause of cervical cancer, according to the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).
The recommendation is geared to reach girls before they begin sexual activity, as HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States. However, the vaccine -- Gardasil, made by Merck -- is also advised for females aged 13-26.
The Food and Drug Administration approved Gardasil in June 2006. It is licensed for females aged 9-26 and is given in three doses over six months, at a cost of $120 per dose.
Critics have raised concerns that states might require the HPV vaccine for school admission, a move that would make "state officials, not parents," in charge of the sexual health of U.S. children. No states are considering making the vaccine a school requirement at this time.
Over 6 million Americans are infected with HPV each year. Most infections clear up on their own, but certain types of HPV can cause cancer.