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Grant will help buy HPV vaccine for STL-area women

By Maria Hickey, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – The Missouri Foundation for Health is giving an $11 million grant to help prevent cervical cancer.

The money will help Missouri clinics provide a vaccine for human papillomavirus -or HPV - that can lead to cervical cancer.

"It prevents cancer. Think of all the millions that have been spent to find cancer prevention techniques," said Dr. James Kimmey, the Foundation's president and CEO. "Here's one that works and people who are uninsured or underinsured weren't going to get it, so it made pretty simple math for the foundation."

The series of three shots costs $360. Kimmey estimates the grant will allow the vaccination of about 30,000 women this year in Missouri.

The target age for the vaccine is 11 and 12-year old girls, but it's effective in women up to age 26.

Clinics run by the Missouri Primary Care Association and the Missouri Family Health Council will get the vaccine.

Amy Latham, the Health Council's executive director, says without the grant their clinics would not be able to provide the vaccine.

"The cost is a big barrier for our clients and also our clinics; our clinics cannot afford to buy it and provide it free of charge," she said Wednesday.


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