March 30, 2007
Oswego County Health Department Now Offers HPV Vaccine
The Oswego County Health Department is now administering the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine at its immunization clinics in Oswego and Pulaski. The vaccine is given as a series of three shots over six months. The County Health Department will provide the vaccine for girls between the ages of nine and 18 through the NYS Department of Health Vaccine for Children Program. The cost is $15 per dose.
“Last June, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) licensed the first vaccine developed to prevent cervical cancer and other diseases in females caused by certain types of genital HPV”, said Kathleen Smith, Director of Public Health in Oswego County. There are about 40 types of HPV. The vaccine, Gardasil®, protects against four HPV types which are responsible for 70 percent of cervical cancers and 90 percent of genital warts.
HPV infection is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the U.S., with approximately 20 million people currently infected. Each year, an additional 6.2 million people become newly infected in the U.S. Most HPV infections don't cause any symptoms, and go away on their own.
“HPV can cause cervical cancer in women,” said Smith. It is also associated with several less common types of cancer in both men and women and can cause genital warts. Every year in the United States about 10,000 women get cervical cancer and 3,700 women die from it.
The HPV vaccine is recommended for 11- and 12-year-old girls, but can be administered to girls as young as nine. The vaccine also is recommended for 13- to 26- year-old women who have not yet received or completed the vaccine series.
“It is important for girls to get the HPV vaccine before their first sexual contact because they have not been exposed to HPV. For these girls, the vaccine can prevent almost 100 percent of disease caused by the four types of HPV targeted by the vaccine,” Smith added.
The Oswego County Health Department holds immunization clinics every Friday from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Nick Sterio Public Health Clinic, 70 Bunner St., Oswego, and from 9 to 11 a.m. on the first and third Fridays of the month at the H. Douglas Barclay Courthouse in Pulaski. For more information about the HPV vaccine or immunization clinics, contact the Health Department at 349-3547 or 1-800-596-3200, ext. 3547.
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