Saturday, 22 June 2024

Local physician encourages HPV vaccine use

The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine made headlines last June when the FDA approved it to prevent cervical cancer and genital warts.


Local gynecologist and obstetrician Dr. Paula Dhanda said she strongly recommends this vaccine and is giving it to her patients.


Given in a series of three shots over six months, Gardasil protects against four types of HPV, which are responsible for 70-percent of cervical cancers and 90-percent of genital warts.


Despite the protection Gardasil offers, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, emphasizes regular PAP smear testing.


The HPV vaccine is most effective when administered to girls and women before the onset of sexual activity.


The FDA has approved the vaccine for girls and women between the ages 9 to 26. This vaccine is administered in the upper arm and is generally well tolerated.


Women who are already sexually active, who may have had prior HPV exposure, may have less protection from the HPV vaccine, but should also be vaccinated.


Women who have already had abnormal PAP smears, genital warts, or precancerous changes, may still benefit from the HPV vaccine, as it is unlikely they have already been exposed to all four types of HPV.


With widespread use, HPV vaccination has the potential to decrease the risk of genital warts and cervical cancer.


Dr. Dhanda advises women to call their doctor or health care provider for more information about the vaccine.


She added, a lot of insurances cover this vaccine. Women may confirm this, by checking with their insurance and asking for coverage for the Gardasil Vaccine, CPT code 90649.


Dr. Dhanda's office can be reached at 279-8733.


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