In 2006, a number of vaccines received FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approval for use in children and/or adults. The vaccines are now available throughout the United States.
One that has been touted in the media is the vaccination for HPV (Human Papillomavirus), a virus linked to cervical cancer. The HPV vaccine became available in June 2006 and is recommended for all girls and women who are or could possibly be sexually active.
Most doctors recommend the vaccine for girls ten and up, though the manufacturer suggests nine and older. The vaccine called Gardasil is given in a series of three injections that are spaced two months apart.
Zostavax is the new vaccine to prevent Herpes Zoster, an infectious virus similar to chickenpox. The disease is present in about 20% of the adult population and causes painful clusters of blisters known as shingles. Currently, the vaccination is approved only for those sixty and older.
The vaccine proves to be 50% effective overall and 64% effective in men and women over then age of 60. All it takes is one vaccination and the disease is prevented. Zostavax will not work in people who already carry the Herpes Zoster virus.
Originally approved in the 1980s, the vaccine for Rotavirus was later withdrawn from the market because it caused a serious bowel disease. A new version of the Rotavirus vaccine is available this year and proves to be a useful weapon against the troublesome virus. Rotavirus is in an intestinal virus that typically hits children in their early childhood.
The virus causes diarrhea that can lead to dehydration. The virus spreads rapidly, especially in school or daycare settings. The FDA has granted the vaccine approval, but testing for correct dosage and side effects are not yet firm. The vaccine will be available this fall.