Hmm, instead of ‘One Less’ I’ll be one more?

Erica Sackin

I'm too old to get the HPV vaccine. Is it worth shelling out $600 for? And is it really fair that I'm considered "too old" in the first place?

Syringe by Andres RuedaI’m not gonna lie, I think those Gardasil commercials are fantastic. You know, the ones with the girls jumping rope, or coming in from a soccer game, pledging to be "One Less"? Well they’re so good that I decided, despite the increased FDA warnings, I wanted to go ahead and get the vaccine that protects against some of the most common forms of HPV.

 

Unfortunately, I’m over 26 years old, meaning for me the vaccine isn’t covered by insurance nor is it officially FDA-approved. The assumption, according to my doctor, is that by age 25 I’ll have already contracted HPV anyways, rendering the vaccine useless. I could pony up for the vaccine, but the $600 of my own money was a little more than I can afford. 

 

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Which, you know, I kind of think is BS. I’ve never exhibited symptoms of HPV. While this doesn’t mean I’m not infected, it does mean there’s a good chance that for me getting the vaccine actually could be a lifesaving decision.

 

Luckily a study was recently published in the Lancet showing that the HPV vaccine could potentially be useful for both boys (who, you know, have an equal hand in spreading HPV) and women over age 24 (you think!?).

 

I know people have mixed feelings about the vaccine, and that it doesn’t prevent all forms of HPV or cervical cancer, but dammit, I can’t help but want to be given an (affordable) choice. 

 

But what do you think? Am I being overoptimistic, and most likely really do already have HPV? And have you all gotten the vaccine? Were you happy with it? Would you go ahead and pay the $600?

 

Photo by Andres Rueda. A version of this post originally appeared on the PPNYC Blog

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