by Marcia G. Yerman
October 29, 2009 – 9:43am
Merck is the developer of the HPV vaccine Gardasil. The company has an independent website, www.gardasil.com, devoted to explaining the product, complete with social marketing tools to “help spread the word about cervical cancer and HPV.” It features responses to “Questions about what you are hearing,” as well as a vertical labeled “More for parents.”
Throughout the site, certain information appears with regularity. Merck states that their product is “the only cervical cancer vaccine that helps protect against four types of human papilloma virus (HPV). Two types that cause 70% of cervical cancer cases; two types that cause 90% of genital warts cases.”
The vaccine is targeted at girls and women from 9 – 26. It is administered in three injections over a six-month period. It is acknowledged that the vaccine does not provide full protection for everyone, or for all types of cervical cancer. Merck endorses continued pap smears.