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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has added Gardasil (Merck & Co) to its Vaccines for Children (VFC) contract. The vaccine, approved by the FDA in June 2006, protects against 4 strains of the human papillomavirus.
The decision will make the vaccine available for girls and women aged 9 to 18 years who are eligible for the program. The vaccine was approved for females aged 9 to 26. The VFC program provides access to vaccines for children through age 18 who are eligible for Medicaid or are uninsured, underinsured, or Native American, according to the drugmaker.
"Inclusion of Gardasil in the VFC program, coupled with private insurance coverage and Merck's Vaccine Patient Assistance Program, [is an] important means to facilitate broad and equitable access to Gardasil," said Mark Feinberg, MD, PhD, Merck Vaccine Division vice president for policy, public health and medical affairs.