HPV Vaccination Now Available To Ages 27 To 45

The vaccine called Gardasil 9 previously was approved for people ages 9 through

The vaccine called Gardasil 9 previously was approved for people ages 9 through

On Friday, the Food and Drug Administration announced that Gardasil 9, the preventative HPV vaccine, is now approved and available for older adults women and men ages 27 to 45 (previously it was only offered to those ages 26 and younger). In a study in approximately 3,200 women 27 through 45 years of age, followed for an average of 3.5 years, Gardasil was 88 percent effective in the prevention of a combined endpoint of persistent infection, genital warts, vulvar and vaginal precancerous lesions, cervical precancerous lesions, and cervical cancer related to HPV types covered by the vaccine.

"Today's approval represents an important opportunity to help prevent HPV-related diseases and cancers in a broader age range", said Peter Marks, the director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.

Rohr-Allegrini said even if you've already tested positive for a strain of HPV, the vaccine can protect you against other cancer-causing strains to which you may not yet have been exposed. The vaccine has been shown to prevent cancers and other diseases caused by the 9 types of HPV: 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58.

View the original story on KCCI's website. The FDA's approval of Gardasil 9 in women 27 through 45 years of age is based on these results and new data on long term follow-up from this study. The vaccine was typically given in two doses several months apart for people ages 9 to 14 and in three doses for people ages 15 to 26.

The most common side effects of the vaccine include soreness at the injection site, swelling, redness and headaches.

All told, the vaccine prevents over 90 percent of possible HPV-caused cancers, said Gypsyamber D'Souza, an epidemiologist at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University.

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No screening is recommended for women who have had a hysterectomy (uterus removed) and do not have a cervix. But data also indicate that the vaccine can benefit the older group.

Dr. Ramondetta noted that tumors affecting part of the throat — called oropharyngeal cancers — caused by HPV are rising, particularly in men.

According to the American College of Gynecology and Obstetrics, women still should receive routine exams every three years if younger than 30.

The effectiveness of Gardasil is relevant to Gardasil 9 since the vaccines are manufactured similarly and cover four of the same HPV types.

For Merck, Gardasil 9 is its third best-selling medicine, with revenue now pacing to exceed $2 billion annually. According to a report from the The New York Times, the FDA is now looking into making a recommendation for the use of the vaccine in older people for scenarios like these.

Questions have been raised at various times over the vaccine's safety, but most studies have found the vaccine to be safe, including a study conducted in women during early pregnancy.

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