The Missouri Foundation for Health is putting up 11-million dollars for vaccinating women against a disease that can cause cancer. The Foundation grant will provide HPV vaccine for uninsured or under-insured women in 84 of Missouri’s counties–everywhere but the Kansas City area and northwest Missouri. The 11-million dollar grant is the biggest non-governmental funding of HPV vaccine in the nation. Some types of the Human Papillomavirus cause cervical cancer. Foundation President James Kimmey says about 30-thousand girls and women will benefit. He says it is rare that a foundation has a chance to fund something that changes the direction of a disease. Kimmey says there is no question that this vaccine, Gardasil (a trademarked name by Merck) prevents cancer. The vaccine will be available through 92 local health centers. It’s a three-dose regimen that costs about 360-dollars, an amount that has limited its availability to low-income or uninsured girls and women. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends the vaccine be given to females from 9 to 26. Kimmey says announcements will come later on when the vaccinations will start.
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