WHO Approves Cervarix, New Cervical Cancer Vaccine

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The World Health Organization approved a cervical cancer vaccine, a cheaper alternative to Gardasil, for use in developing countries.

vaccine_shot

Photo: El Alvi (alvi2047 on Flickr)

A nurse administers a vaccine to a patient.

The World Health Organization has approved Cervarix, a second cervical cancer vaccine, made by GlaxoSmithKline.

We’ve written quite a few posts about Gardasil and the reasons why women should get it and why it should be researched for use in men as well. However, the cost was still fairly high, even with insurance, and simply impractical for women in developing countries.

According to Jezebel’s original blog post:

Last year, the global health association GAVI prioritized the purchase of HPV vaccines for the world’s 73 poorest nations. An estimated 280,000 women die from cervical cancer each year, and 80% of the deaths are in developing countries. GAVI, formerly known as the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, is a major buyer of vaccines. The WHO has approved Cervarix for use in the developing world, but it is still unclear how the distribution will be financed.

According to the Wall Street Journal, GAVI “includes U.N. agencies, the World Bank and the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation…” and is just one of the partners Glaxo-Smith Kline is pursuing to help with distribution in developing countries.

The WSJ article has a few quotes from GSK spokespeople about the life-saving possibilities of this vaccine distribution in areas where cervical cancer often goes untreated due to poor or nonexistant screenings.

Natalie Ingraham (M.P.H.)

is a recent graduate of Indiana University and is now pursuing a Ph.D. in Medical Sociology at University of California San Francisco.
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