Wednesday, June 20, 2007

HPV vaccine 'hysteria' hits Canada

From the Windsor (Ont.) Star:
Gardasil, the vaccine against cervical cancer recommended for girls and women aged nine to 26 years, is flying off drug store shelves across Canada.

Designed to protect women from cancer caused by the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus, it was approved one year ago by Health Canada but must be prescribed by a doctor or nurse practitioner.

Merck Frosst, the sole manufacturer of Gardasil, has distributed more than 90,000 doses in Canada through the end of April, and close to half of them were in Ontario, said spokeswoman Sheila Murphy.

Shoppers Drug Mart, Canada's leading drugstore chain, has noticed a four-fold increase in prescriptions across Canada since last December, said spokeswoman Pat Chapman. Although some are concerned that giving girls the vaccine may lead them to believe they can safely have sex, medical officials say the benefits far outweigh such concerns. ...more

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