Good News! As of May 1, 2018 Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts will reimburse for the Shingrix vaccine for adults age 50+. Harvard Pilgrim may be the next insurance to sign on. Other private insurers will allow payment beginning September 1, 2018. Unfortunately, Medicare will not pay for the Shingrix vaccine. A second injection is required 2-6 months after the first. Please call the office for more information (508) 833-8020 or to schedule an appointment.
Human papillomavirus is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States. You can contract the virus by having oral, anal, or vaginal sex with a person who has the virus and may not even know it. This virus usually goes away on its own, but in those cases where it doesn’t, it can cause genital warts and cancers of the cervix, vulva, anus, vagina, penis, and oral cavity. There is currently no treatment for the virus and each year 27,000 men and women are affected by cancers caused by HPV.
But there is a vaccine, HPV9 (Gardasil), which can prevent these cancers. Most of the time these cancers are caused by 9 types of HPV (6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58). Gardasil 9 won’t protect against a virus that a person already has and, like all vaccines, may not protect everyone who receives it. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices advises: EFFECTIVE MAR 27, 2015
9vHPV, 4vHPV, or 2vHPV for routine vaccination of females 11 or 12 years* of age and females through 26 years of age who have not been vaccinated previously or who have not completed the 3-dose series.
9vHPV or 4vHPV for routine vaccination of males 11 or 12 years* of age and males through 21 years of age who have not been vaccinated previously or who have not completed the 3-dose series.
9vHPV or 4vHPV vaccination for men who have sex with men and immunocompromised men (including those with HIV infection) through age 26 years if not vaccinated previously.
Who should not receive Gardasil9?
Anyone with an allergic reaction to:
. A previous dose
. Amorphous aluminum hydroxyphosphate sulfate
. Polysorbate 80
What are the most common side effects?
. pain, swelling, redness, itching, bruising and a lump at injection site
. headache, fever, nausea, dizziness, tiredness, diarrhea
Gardasil is given in the upper arm muscle as a series of 3 shots over 6 months. There is no charge to the patient. Please call the Sandwich Public Health Nursing Department at (508- 833-8020) for more information and/or to set up an appointment.
Here are CDC’s immunization schedules for birth-6 years, pre-teens and teens, and adults:
Why receive the Tdap vaccine? (tetanus, diptheria, acellular pertussis)
This immunization protects against lockjaw (extreme muscle stiffness), diptheria ( a coating which can block the back of the throat), and whooping cough (which can cause severe coughing, vomiting, pneumonia and death). The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices states that adults 19 years and older should receive a single dose of Tdap vaccine if they have not received one as an adolescent, usually 11-12 years old. This can replace the next every 10 year Td booster dose. The vaccine is especially important to receive if you will be around babies younger than 12 months. Whooping cough in babies can be dangerous. A pregnant woman should receive the Tdap vaccine between 27-36 weeks of gestation every pregnancy. This will optimize antibody transfer to the infant.
The incidence of tetanus and diptheria has dropped 99% since the development of this vaccine. While whooping cough disease has decreased, there is a recent resurgence of outbreaks. Immunity wanes 4-7 years after having had the disease or after being immunized.