HPV vaccine for boys? Yes and maybe not. By Daniel Akst
HPVvaccine for boys? Yes and maybe not. By Daniel Akst
Thisis a story of a father’s frustrating experience as he and his wifetry to get HPV vaccination for their twin boys. The Gardasil vaccine(an effective HPV vaccine) had previously been administered to girlsonly until recently when it was acceptable for use on boys too. Theauthor- Daniel and his wife begin their quest to get the shots fortheir boys, but they encounter many roadblocks on their way. To them,it is only reasonable that they to prevent HPV and other HPV-relatedailments than to have to spend a fortune curing these diseases shouldthey occur later in life.
Theyfirst try to secure the shots through their health insurance cover.They are infuriated when they learn that their outrageously expensivehealth insurance does not cover Gardasil vaccine for boys.
Theyhad the option of paying for it from their own pockets. However, asingle shot would cost them $900, so they would need to part with$1800 for two shots. They did not have that kind of money to spareand their pre-tax dollars from the ‘flexible spending account’was too little to cover such expense.
Secondly,they approach the Federal Vaccine for Children program- the mostappropriate place they could get assistance. Right? They discoverthat the VFC does cover the Gardasil vaccine for boys, but sadlyenough they cannot get your shots paid for at a normal VFC provider.Which makes no sense to them at all.
Finally,they track down the department of health’s regional VFCadministrator in the state of Albany who they presume has theauthority to issue the vaccine. It turns out that VFC-paid Gardasilfor underinsured kids can only be administered at a FederallyQualified Health Center. Unfortunately, such Health Centers are sofar away from their home.
Inthe end, they had made so many phone calls, sent countless emails anddone many rounds but their children were still unvaccinated. Theauthor is disappointed with America’s ineffective healthcare systemand can only hope that their health insurance provider would be ableto cover the cost of the Gardasil vaccine soon.
Theauthor’s purpose in writing this essay is to point out the brokenhealthcare system that does not serve the needs of the many poor andmiddle-income families. He also writes to emphasize the importance ofpreventing HPV-related ailments and cancers through administering HPVvaccines to young boys.
Vaccinating boys for HPV helps prevent various HPV cancers that may develop later in life. It also saves the draining cost of treating HPV-related ailments.
The Vaccine for Children program covers shots for children who lack insurance or those with insurance that does not cover a vaccine.
The cost of the HPV vaccine for the uninsured is $900 for a single shot.
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