Intended for healthcare professionals

News Roundup [abridged Versions Appear In The Paper Journal]

CDC recommends expensive vaccine for all girls aged 11-12

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: (Published 13 July 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:114
  1. Janice Tanne
  1. New York

    Girls aged 11 or 12 years should receive Merck's vaccine Gardasil to prevent infection with the sexually transmitted papillomavirus strains that cause cervical cancer, a committee of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended last week.

    The decision by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices aroused worries among doctors and health providers over the vaccine's cost and objections from religious conservatives, who fear it may encourage promiscuity.

    The vaccine is the first to prevent cancer, the first against a sexually transmitted disease, and the first for only one sex—although it may later be given to boys. It was approved last month by the Food and Drug Administration.

    It is also one of the most expensive vaccines, costing $360 (£195; €280) for three injections given over six months. Estimates of the cost to the US health system of vaccinating all girls aged 11 or 12 range up to $2bn.

    The committee is the only body that can recommend or remove vaccines from the list of recommended vaccines for children. The committee's …

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