A couple of months ago, Gardasil the vaccine for four types of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV 6, 11, 16 and 18), which are four of the strains that account for the majority of cervical cancer and genital warts infections was released to the public in Australia with much fan-fare. Today I received my first shot in a three shot course which is given over six months. Gardasil may be pricey but for my parents, my doctor and I, it is the sort of thing where money shouldn’t be in equation, because the benefits far outweigh the initial outlay from the back pocket.
In saying that it will be a great day when it is added to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme which would lower the cost and enable even more young women across Australia to access the vaccine. It will also be a great day when it is put on the National Immunisation Program Schedule for girls aged 12 years which will make it accessible to all the girls of Australia.
It will also be a great day for the team at local hospital that developed the vaccine. I can say today it feels pretty cool to receive a vaccine that was “grown in my backyard”, it also makes me proud of what they have done. Go Dr Ian Frazer and the team at the PA&UQ! For this work Dr Frazer was named the Australian of the Year for 2006 which really shows just how much of a breakthrough this vaccine is.
Whilst I was there I also started on my Hep A/B combined course since I had missed the Hep B whilst at school and it makes sense for future travel plans to get the Hep A as well (also makes it cheaper).
This means that I have matching bandages on both of my arms 🙂