Nevada: Some Must Wait for HPV Vaccine
August 3, 2006
Girls ages 11-12 eligible for the federal Vaccines for Children (VFC) program may have to wait for Nevada lawmakers to approve the HPV vaccine Gardasil's procurement before receiving it.
While the federal government usually provides funding for vaccines through VFC, a free vaccination program for low-income families administered in Nevada through its Health Division, the Legislature must approve any new vaccine based on its cost effectiveness, said Alex Haartz, division manager. The Legislature convenes Feb. 5, 2007, and the fiscal year begins July 1.
"I don't know that it will be that long," said Haartz. If federal funding is available for Gardasil, the state's Interim Finance Committee could approve the vaccine's distribution through the Health Division in the Legislature's absence. Without funding, lawmakers would have to approve Gardasil's addition to the program.
Insured children lacking vaccination coverage could receive Gardasil free or at reduced cost through the federal- and state-funded Nevada Checkup program.
About 300 health care providers are procuring vaccines through the Health Division for insured or VFC clients, Douglas Banghart, the state's immunization program manager, said at a recent meeting of the Task Force on Cervical Cancer. Banghart estimated CDC price negotiations with Gardasil's manufacturer, Merck, would end Sept. 1, and states would be able to purchase Gardasil a few weeks after that.
The women most likely to get HPV-related cervical cancer are those from low socioeconomic strata who do not receive routine checkups, said Dr. Nick Spirtos, head of the Women's Cancer Center in Las Vegas.
Las Vegas Review-Journal
07.30.06; Annette Wells
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.