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Coastal Health District offering free HPV vaccine
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The Coastal Health District has received funding to provide the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, also known as Gardasil, free of charge to women who meet certain criteria. The HPV vaccine is a safe and effective vaccine that was developed to prevent cervical cancer

To qualify for the program, women must be 19 to 26 years of age, not pregnant and have:
• Medicaid
• Medicare
• Health insurance that does not cover the cost of HPV vaccine or,
• No health insurance.

The vaccine is given in a series of three doses. It is important that women who receive the vaccine get all three doses in order to obtain maximum protection from HPV. Women who meet the above criteria and have not yet started the series are eligible to receive the vaccine under this program.

In addition, women who have already received one or two of the doses are eligible to complete the series under this program.  
Cervical cancer is caused by certain types of HPV and an estimated eight out of 10 women will become infected with HPV in their lifetime.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer the HPV vaccine at no charge to women who qualify for this program,” said Marianne Pappas, Coastal Health District Immunization Coordinator. “When a woman gets the HPV vaccine she significantly lowers her chance of getting cervical cancer. But until now, many women couldn’t afford to get the vaccine.”

A small administrative fee of $14 will be charged for each dose; however, no one will be denied because of inability to pay. Normal cost of the vaccine is approximately $160 per dose. The program runs through September.