State Program Will Not Cover Vaccine for Women
State health officials said there are no plans to cover a vaccine against human papillomavirus through Family Pact, a state-funded plan that serves about 1.6 million residents, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. HPV is linked to cervical cancer.
State officials said Family Pact will not cover the vaccine because it is more effective in younger girls who are less likely to be sexually active and have not contracted any strain of HPV.
However, Merck, the manufacturer of Gardasil, says the vaccine can protect women ages 18 to 26 even if they have been exposed to one type of HPV.
Most health plans cover Gardasil, the vaccine, and the state's Vaccine for Children's program provides free vaccinations for uninsured girls ages nine to 18.
However, uninsured women older than 18 and those covered by state programs such as Family Pact might have to pay out-of-pocket for Gardasil.
In fiscal year 2004-2005, 63% percent of Family Pact members were ages 20 to 34, and 89% were women, according to the Daily News.
The state Assembly Health Committee on Tuesday will consider legislation (AB 16) by Assembly member Ed Hernandez (D-Baldwin Park) that would require all California girls entering the seventh grade to be immunized against HPV, following recommendations by CDC (Abram, Los Angeles Daily News, 3/11).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.