HPV Types 16 and 18 cause 70% of cervical cancer cases, and HPV Types 6 and 11 cause 90% of genital warts cases.
GARDASIL may not fully protect everyone and does not prevent all types of cervical cancer, so it is important to continue regular cervical cancer screenings
IMAGE SOURCE: WikiMedia Commons/ Teen girls/ Savaman
In case you’ve been wondering how effective those “One Less” ads have been for Merck’s HPV vaccine Gardasil - about one in four teenage girls ages 13 to 17 have reportedly received the vaccine.
The estimates come from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which collected data on 3,000 girls nationwide. 25 percent of the young teens had received at least one of the three vaccines required in the three-shot series.
Gardasil protects against human papillomavirus - two types that cause cervical cancer and two that cause genital warts. Most women are exposed to the virus in their lifetime and have natural immunities.
Merck’s drug won FDA approval in June 2006 and launched an aggressive advertising campaign, “One Less.”
Three states - Texas, Michigan, and Virginia all began moving toward mandating immunizations for school girls entering the sixth grade, but all three states stopped requiring immunization programs because of public pressure.
The CDCs Dr. Lance Rodewald told Reuters that it generally takes seven or eight years before up to 90 percent of the targeted population receives a vaccine.
The FDA approved Gardasil for women up to the age of 26, but there are no estimates on how many women beyond the age of 17 are receiving it.
According to Judicial Watch, a Washington D.C. based nonprofit public interest group, there have been nearly 9,000 adverse health events reported to the government concerning the drug, including 10 deaths reported since September 2007 and at least 18 deaths total.
Of those 18, eleven occurred less than one week after receiving the vaccine and seven in less than two days.
Merck projects revenues between $1.4 to $1.6 billion in 2008 sales, though analysts report those sales are disappointing.
Interestingly both the CDC and FDA devote a full page to the Merck product using the product name. That may be because it's the only HPV drug approved at this time. A rival vaccine made by GlaxoSmithKline is on the horizon and the company is looking toward a 2009 approval. #