HPV Vaccination Now Available To Ages 27 To 45

By Stina Sieg
Published: Tuesday, October 9, 2018 - 4:42pm
Updated: Tuesday, October 9, 2018 - 4:43pm
Audio icon Download mp3 (1.45 MB)

The federal government has expanded the use of a vaccine that protects against the sexually transmitted disease HPV. The Guardasil 9 vaccine has now been approved for people between the ages of 9 and 45.

Previously, the Federal Food and Drug administration had only approved it for ages 9 to 26. That left many people without protection from the extremely common human papilloma virus, which can cause cervical cancer in women and a type of throat cancer in men.

"Almost every adult will be exposed at some point in their lives," said Gail Petersen Hock, a member of the Arizona Chapter of the National Cervical Cancer Coalition.

She’s also a survivor and says she was lucky because her cancer was caught early, and because she already had her children.

"This cancer, whether it kills you or not, you know, it can really impact your reproductive health for women," Petersen Hock said. "I mean, there’s tremendous impact, and there’s tremendous loss.

She added that many women with the diagnosis have hysterectomies. And every year, 4,000 women die from the disease.