Healthy Living: Local News
Your Health: HPV Vaccinations Offered for Free
Story Updated: Jun 21, 2012
Planned Parenthood of Northern New York is ramping up its efforts to provide the vaccination against the human papillomavirus, known as HPV.
Garadasil is available for free to people under the age of 26 for the month June.
Vaccinating against HPV helps prevent most cases of cervical cancer in women.
It protects men against genital warts and also keeps them from spreading the virus.
"Men generally don't have any symptoms of HPV infection, so they pass it to their partners without realizing it," said Janice Agen, a nurse practitioner at Planned Parenthood of Northern New York.
Planned Parenthood says the risk of Gardasil causing serious injury or death is extremely small.
But the National Vaccine Information Center cautions patients to educate themselves before getting vaccinated.
"You need to find out about the benefits and risks because there are some people who are higher risk than others for having a vaccine reaction," said Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder and president of the National Vaccine Information Center.
There are three rounds of shots for the Gardasil vaccination.
This month at Planned Parenthood of Northern New York, the first round is free.
"We're hoping to promote this vaccination across the sexually active population," said Agen.
If you can't make it to Planned Parenthood, you can also get the shot at your doctor's office or at Public Health of Jefferson County.