Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The FDA Approves a New Version of Gardasil

The FDA has approved a "new and improved" version of Gardasil, the controversial vaccine against Human Papillomavirus (HPV), the group of viruses that cause cervical cancer. The original Gardasil was effective against four types of HPV. The new version, called "Gardasil 9", is effective against those four types of HPV plus five more, for a total of nine.

Gardasil 9 is approved for use in both males and females. In males it is approved for prevention of anal cancer, and coincidentally it would also be effective in preventing the spread of HPV to females. Like the original Gardasil, Gardasil 9 is administered as a series of three shots.

Gardasil remains a controversial vaccine. Some people think that vaccinating young girls against a sexually transmitted virus will lead to promiscuity, even though the available suggests otherwise (see this Blog Oct. 21, 2012). There's also a rumor going around that Gardasil has caused the deaths of dozens of young women; that's not true, either, according to a leading rumor-checking site. The CDC, which collects reports of "adverse effects" on all drugs, continues to stress that Gardasil is safe.

No comments: