A Vaccine to Save Women’s Lives Published: February 6, 2007 Congratulations to Texas for becoming the first state to require vaccinating young schoolgirls — ages 11 and 12 — against a sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer and genital warts. Other states would be wise to follow the same path. There is no doubt that Merck’s vaccine against the human papillomavirus, given in three shots over eight months, is highly effective. It provides nearly perfect protection against two strains that cause 70 percent of all cases of cervical cancer, and against two other strains that cause 90 percent of genital warts cases. (That still leaves 30 percent of the cervical cancer cases to worry about, so women are urged to keep getting regular Pap tests to screen for signs of the cancer.) The side effects are generally mild: pain or tenderness at the site of the injection. Many parents are appalled at the notion of vaccinating such young girls against a sexually transmitted disease. But the medical reality is that the vaccine will generally not work after a
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This note was uploaded on 12/05/2010 for the course ENGL 1A taught by Professor Churchill during the Fall '08 term at Mt. SAC.