College Media Network
Issue date: 10/28/10
Ask and you shall receive.
The Health Clinic received a shipment of the vaccine for Human Pappillomavirus (HPV) earlier this month after Gail Hacker, a doctor at the facility, enrolled in a program to receive the medicine.
Shots of Gardasil cost $10 each and will require a series of three injections.
Almost 20 million Americans are currently infected with genital HPV, as reported by the Immunization Action Coalition. Another six million people are infected each year.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease in America.
HPV is normally spread through sexual contact and can cause cervical cancer in women. It is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in women around the world. In the United States, about 10,000 women get cervical cancer every year and about 4,000 are expected to die from it, says the IAC.
In most cases, cervical cancer can be prevented with Gardasil.
LCC received a free shipment of the Human Papillomavirus vaccine from the state.
The vaccine is marketed at $120, though three doses over six months are required, totaling $360.
“Dr. Hacker enrolled [the LCC Health Clinic] in a state program that provides free Gardasil to different agencies,” said Mona Arbuckle, Director of the Health Clinic. “I don’t know how long [the vaccine] will last. At least we can get people started.”
To receive the vaccine for free, LCC had to “change some of our protocols … [the Health Clinic had to be] more specific about temperature regulations,” Arbuckle said.
However, the new equipment that LCC had to buy to qualify for the program was partially subsidized by the state.
The vaccine is recommended for women ages 13-26, though it is advocated to start the three-dose series when girls are as young as 11 or 12 – it’s “important for girls to get HPV vaccine before their first sexual contact because they won’t have been exposed to Human Papillomavirus,” Arbuckle said.