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School Vaccination Program to Include Cancer Drug Gardasil

The Government of Australia has decided to include Gardasil in the national immunization program from next year. The drug is effective for treating cervical cancer. The// immunization program is expected to cover high schools from April, 2007.

All girls, between the ages of 12 and 18 will benefit from this program. All women between the ages of 18 and 26 will also be able to avail this facility through their GPs for the next two years.

The prime minister ,in a message to the public mentioned that the government is only glad to make this expensive, yet effective vaccine to the public at subsidized rates .The projected cost of the program is about $436 million, said Prime minister John Howard. The Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) to the Australian government had sparked of a controversy this month since it publicly stated that spending $150 million annually to vaccinate all young women in Australia was not cost effective.

This vaccine has been developed by a scientist from Australia, by the name, Ian Frazer. The drug gardasil prevents infection with human Papilloma virus .This virus is responsible for more than 70% of all cervical cancers. Cervical cancer, is responsible for the death of almost 270 Australian women, annually, divulged government officials.

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