Allegheny County Health Department Offers HPV Vaccine
The Allegheny County Health Department now offers the HPV vaccine, which is highly effective in preventing Human Papillomavirus infections that cause most cervical cancers.
HPV vaccine is recommended for girls 11 to 12 years of age, as well as those as young as nine years old and between 13 and 26 years of age. It is given in three injections over six months.
The Health Department is offering the HPV vaccine for $130 per dose through its vaccination clinic at 3441 Forbes Avenue in Oakland. There is no charge for those nine through 18 years of age, under the federally funded Vaccines for Children Program. The clinic is open on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on Wednesdays, from 1 to 8 p.m. No appointment is necessary.
Because HPV is spread through sexual contact, it is important for girls to get the vaccine before they become sexually active. While it is most effective before being exposed to HPV, the vaccine still offers some benefit after exposure.
HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States, and can cause genital warts as well as precancerous lesions. At least 50 percent of sexually active people get HPV at some point in their lifetime. It is most common in men and women in their late teens or early 20's.