Gardasil Adopted By Vaccines For Children Program's 55 Immunization Projects
Merck's human papillomavirus vaccine Gardasil has been adopted by all 55 of CDC's Vaccines for Children Program immunization projects, the company announced Monday, Reuters reports (Krawskopf, Reuters, 7/16). VFC provides no-cost immunizations to children ages nine to 18 covered by Medicaid, Alaska Native and American Indian children, and some uninsured and underinsured children (Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report, 5/8).
Merck's FDA-approved HPV vaccine Gardasil in clinical trials has been shown to be 100% effective in preventing infection with HPV strains 16 and 18, which together cause about 70% of cervical cancer cases, and about 99% effective in preventing HPV strains 6 and 11, which together with HPV strains 16 and 18 cause about 90% of genital wart cases, among women not already infected with these strains (Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report, 7/11). Gardasil, as well as Merck's rotavirus vaccine Rotateq, will be available through all VFC programs in all 50 states, as well as city programs in Chicago, New York City, Philadelphia, San Antonio and Washington, D.C., according to the company (AP/Forbes, 7/16).
"This milestone is an important step in Merck's ongoing commitment to make our vaccines available to all children who need them, regardless of income," Mark Feinberg, Merck Vaccines' vice president of policy, public health and medical affairs, said in a statement (Merck release, 7/16).
Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Weekly Health Disparities Report, search the archives. The Kaiser Weekly Health Disparities Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. 2007 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.