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Friday, June 20, 2008

Boys Have a "Merck-y" Future

Last year, Gardisal, the vaccine against the
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) was released to the public after receiving full FDA approval. While there has been much controversy surrounding the vaccine, Gardisal has gone off without a hitch. The most widely argued controversy has been of the suggested age range for the vaccine, that of ages 9 - 26. This left many conservatives stuck with their arms firmly in the air while yelling "what do we say to our children?!" Recently, researchers announced that this vaccine is also effictive on women over the age of 26, leaving us with one question, "what about us boys?"

While the vaccine was clinically tested amongst 30,000 women over several trials, no such testing has been conducted with those of the XY chromosomal nature. However, men are seen as the leading carriers for incidences of oral, anal and vaginal HPV cases. So why not just nip this in the bud (butt)? Thankfully it looks as though pharmo companies like Merck & GlaxoSmithKline are investigating such a matter as I type.

Currently Merck, the maker of Gardasil, is gathering data on the effectiveness of this vaccine on boys. However, there really is not much of chance that female and male immune systems will react differently to this vaccine. In the meantime, we must wait a few years before enough data is gathered to prove this case.



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