A few years ago, I decided to get the HPV vaccine. This vaccine didn’t hit the market until I was well into adulthood, so I didn’t have a chance to be vaccinated in my youth like most kids today (about 6 in 10 US parents are currently choosing to have their kids vaccinated against HPV). Unfortunately, I found that it was a ridiculously difficult and expensive process.
Because the recommended age for the vaccine is only up to 26—and I was older than that—my insurance company wouldn’t cover it and many providers weren’t willing to give it to me, even though I said I would pay out of pocket (long story short: I eventually got it, and you can read all about the experience here). Fortunately, things look like they’re about to get easier (and cheaper) for the over-26 crowd.
In October 2018, the FDA agreed to expand approval of this vaccine to adults up to age 45. According to a Washington Post report about it, “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which is made up of medical and public health experts who make recommendations on the use of vaccines, is expected to review the expanded age range at its meeting later this month and to vote on it next year. If the CDC committee recommends that the older group receive the vaccine, insurance companies are much more likely to cover the cost.”
Assuming the CDC votes in favor in 2019, Americans over the age of 26 (and up to 45) will have greater access to the HPV vaccine. This would be fantastic news, because this vaccine can help prevent the transmission of a virus that is known to cause genital warts as well as cancers of the cervix, anus, and throat.
That said, if time is of the essence and you don’t want to wait for potential CDC approval, check out this article I wrote about three ways you can currently get the HPV vaccine if you’re over 26.
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