FDA Approves Gardasil Vaccine for Boys, Cervarix for Girls
GardasilThe FDA approved Merck’s Gardasil vaccine for use in boys and men ages 9-26, the company said today. The vaccine protects against some strains of HPV, the virus that causes cervical cancer in women; today’s approval was for using the vaccine to prevent genital warts, which are also caused by HPV.
The vaccine is given in three doses, at $130 per dose — a price that may seem a bit high for reducing the risk of getting warts. But there are other theoretical reasons why there might be a benefit to vaccinating boys.
For one thing, because HPV is sexually transmitted, vaccinating boys might reduce the risk that unvaccinated girls would get HPV. For another, some types of cancer that occur in men have been linked to HPV, so vaccination might reduce the risk of developing these cancers. But neither of these possible benefits has been proven in clinical trials.
Also today, the FDA approved GlaxoSmithKline’s Cervarix for use in girls and women age 10 to 25. Cervarix is another HPV vaccine, and so is likely to provide some competition for Merck’s Gardasil, which until now has been the only HPV vaccine on the market in this country.
The FDA has raised concerns about a higher rate of miscarriages among girls and women who received Cervarix and said it couldn’t rule out a “small effect” on pregnancies, Dow Jones Newswires notes. The agency said it would require safety study to monitor the issue.
A CDC vaccine advisory committee meeting next week may vote on whether to recommend the use of Cervarix in girls and women. The committee may also vote on whether to recommend the use of Gardasil in boys and men.
The first step in stopping the perceived stigma about genital herpes - is to stop believing in it yourself >