Health

Oct 22, 2009 11:46 AM by Associated Press

Panel backs second cervical cancer vaccine

A federal vaccine advisory panel has voted to recommend a second kind of vaccine against cervical cancer for girls and young women.

The government last week licensed the vaccine, Cervarix from GlaxoSmithKline, for marketing in the United States. Merck & Co. has had the vaccine Gardasil on the market since 2006.

The committee voted Wednesday to recommend Cervarix as an alternative. It did not state a preference of one vaccine over the other. But officials noted that while both protect against forms of the virus that cause cervical, vaginal and vulvar cancers, the older Merck vaccine also protects against forms that cause genital warts. Both shots are a three-dose series. The Merck series costs about $390 and Glaxo's costs about $385.

The CDC still has to adopt the new recommendation for it to become official.

 

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