HPV Cervical Cancer Vaccine

Cervical Cancer Vaccine Now Available
A major breakthrough for women’s health

As part of Planned Parenthood’s commitment to helping women maximize their health and well-being, we began offering the Gardasil HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) vaccine in all of our clinics in early 2007.

The HPV vaccine represents a major breakthrough for women’s health — providing protection against the high-risk viruses which cause virtually all cases of cervical cancer and genital warts.

Cervical cancer is the second most prevalent cancer in women in the U.S., with 10,500 new cases diagnosed in 2005. Our experience at Planned Parenthood tells us that exposure to the high-risk viruses can occur as soon as a woman becomes sexually active. In fact, nationwide, the incidence of HPV infection occurs just 16 months after a young woman’s first sexual encounter. At least 80 percent of women will acquire HPV by age 50.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends routine HPV vaccination for females 11 and 12 years old; however, vaccination can begin as early as nine years of age. Catch-up vaccination is recommended for females13 to 26 years of age. Planned Parenthood will also vaccinate women over age 26 with the client’s consent, but there are no programs to assist with the cost of the vaccination over age 26.

Payment Options
The HPV vaccine actually consists of a series of three vaccines that cost $120 per injection plus an administrative fee (PPSO will make no profit on HPV vaccinations). There are several options for payment:

•    Girls ages 18 and under may qualify for the federal Vaccines for Children (VFC) program, which will cover the $120 for each injection;
•    Merck, the manufacturer of Gardasil vaccine offers a patient assistance program for young women, ages 19-26, based on financial eligibility;
•    Some private health insurance policies may provide coverage (private insurance clients will need to pay for the vaccine at the time of service and then submit a receipt for reimbursement from their insurance company);
•    Private payment.

PPSO will assist clients in determining their eligibility for Vaccines for Children and the Merck Assistance Fund. However, we realize that not everyone will qualify for these programs, have insurance coverage, or be able to afford to pay out of pocket, and PPSO is working hard to create solutions that will make access available to all women and girls who want this health service.

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