The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new vaccine to prevent five additional strains of a commonly sexually transmitted virus that leads to cervical cancer in women.
Gardasil 9 has been approved for women ages 9 to 26 and men ages 9 to 15 to treat nine strains of the human papillomavirus, better known as HPV. The previous vaccine only covered four strains of the virus, which can lead to vaginal, vulvar, cerival and anal cancers and genital warts.
The vaccine is administered as three separate shots. After the initial dose, a patient must wait two months before receiving the second dose followed by six months before receiving the third and final vaccine. The most common side effects are swelling, pain and redness at the injection site and headaches.
Gardasil 9 is a manufactured by Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of the New Jersy-based pharmaceutical company Merck & Co. Inc.