April 5, 2007

County Health Department to Provide HPV Vaccine

The Scotland County Health Department announces that it has received HPV (human papilloma virus) vaccine for Scotland County girls and women. The vaccine, which was received through the Missouri Foundation For Health grant, is available at the health department. The vaccine Gardasil, prevents cervical cancer in females caused by certain types of HPV.

The grant enables Missouri health care providers to provide the vaccine free of charge to girls and women ages 9 – 26 not covered by adequate insurance or who do not qualify for Missouri’s free Vaccine for Children (VFC) program.

An estimated 20 million men and women in the United States are infected with HPV. In most people, HPV goes away on its own. However, the virus is known to be transmitted through sexual activity. According to Merck, Gardasil is most effective when given to females before they become sexually active and are much less likely to have been exposed to HPV. HPV has been identified as the cause of cervical cancers, pre-cancers, benign cervical lesions and genital warts. Although Gardasil does not prevent all types of HPV, it targets those that account for 70 percent of cervical cancers and 90 percent of genital warts. The vaccine is a three shot series. For more information contact the Scotland County Health Department at 660-465-7275.

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