Dr. Chris Dreiling explains the purpose of the vaccine is to decrease the carriage of the viruses that may cause cancer.
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Cervical Cancer Vaccine What is the purpose of vaccine? Dr. Chris Dreiling: To protect girls from caring these strains of human papillomavirus that can cause cervical cancer. Later in life ideally, but obviously this refers to young age, as well. And that’s the purpose of the vaccine is to decrease the carriage of those viruses that may actually cause cancer and they cause genital warts as well, and cause changes in the cervix, which can have deleterious effects separate from the cancer, but the cancer is the main risk. Are there any side effects associated with the vaccine? Dr. Chris Dreiling: There is some pain in receiving the vaccine much like any vaccine, some soreness immediately after and the day after the vaccine. There are some idiosyncratic side effects much in line with other sorts of vaccines, in terms of low grade level in the first 24 hours after the vaccine, some malaise, some body aches, which usually resolve very quickly. But the risks are rare and mild. How is the vaccine administered? Dr. Chris Dreiling: The vaccine is given in a 3-dose series and its most efficient form, it should be given once two months subsequently, and then four months after the second dose, so it's completed over six months span. This is a familiar schedule to anybody that has ever received Hepatitis B. It's the same type of schedule. And then the person is considered completely covered at that point. If someone is late receiving one of the doses, they don’t have to start over. Is the vaccine covered by insurance? Dr. Chris Dreiling: It's an expensive vaccine, but so far the major insurance and the minor ones have been very good about adjusting to it, after the usual two or three months of them getting their heads around the new recommendations, they’ve been very good about covering the vaccine. Why do you advocate getting the vaccine? Dr. Chris Dreiling: When we have an opportunity to do something simple, something targeted, something focused, they can provide an enormous benefit and decrease the risk of a very dangerous life threatening disease. It's pretty simple decision for me. A lot of people in the United State don’t understand how much time and effort goes into exploring vaccines, before they're ever approved for the general public. They don’t understand that we’ve been researching these things for years, tested them in humans, tested for efficacy, safety, and other sorts of things, so I can reassure them there. They also are hesitant because of the cost. They're hesitant because they're worried that protecting their child against this strangely may give them one less tool to use in motivating their daughter to not expose herself to catching the virus from sexual activity.