EDISON — The Edison Department of Health and Human Services has announced the availability of significantly reduced cost vaccinations, subsidized through an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant.
Edison residents are eligible to take advantage of the reduced-price vaccinations while supplies last. Gardasil, Pneumovax, Menactra and Tdap are available under the program.
The Gardasil vaccination is a series of three shots, recommended for both girls and boy ages 9-26 years of age. This vaccination protects against the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), which is a sexually transmitted disease (STD). An estimated 40 million Americans are infected with an HPV virus, with an additional 6 million being added each year.
This vaccine can protect young women from four types of HPV that commonly causes cervical cancer and genital warts. For young men, this vaccine can protect them against HPV that causes 90% of genital warts. This vaccine is highly recommended for adolescents and young adults before they become sexually active, however at this time, the Gardisil vaccine will only be available for individuals 18 years and older.
The Gardisil vaccination will now be offered at just $30 per dose. The normal price of this vaccine is $150 per vaccination, meaning the series would cost $450, however, while supplies last, the entire series will only cost $90.
The Pneumovax vaccine protects from Pneumococcal disease, which can affect the lungs (pneumonia), the blood (bacteremia) and/or the covering of the brain (meningitis). Pneumococcal disease is the leading cause of vaccine-preventable disease illness and death in the United States. This vaccine is recommended for all individuals.
Certain individuals are at higher risk, which include: children less than 2 years of age, individuals older than 65 years of age, smokers, those with asthma, individuals with suppressed immune systems, or those suffering from chronic illnesses like heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, cirrhosis, sickle cell disease or alcoholism. Only one vaccination is required of Pneumovax and will be offered for $20 a person. This vaccine normally costs $50.
The Menactra vaccine protects against Meningococcal disease or more commonly known as Meningitis. Meningitis is a bacterial infection of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Although this disease is relatively rare, with approximately 2,600 people getting it each year in the United States, many individuals will die or be impacted by loss of limbs, hearing, problems with the nervous system and/or mental retardation.
Risk factors for meningitis include being less than 1 year of age, having certain medical conditions, and those living in close proximity to others, like those in college dormitories. This vaccine is generally given in pre-adolescents at either 11 or 12 years of age. Individuals living in college dormitories, US military recruits, those traveling to certain areas of the world, like Africa, those with immune system disorders and those who have damaged or removed spleens, are also strongly recommended to receive the vaccine.
Generally only one dose is needed for individuals over 2 years of age. The Menactra vaccine will be available for $30 per dose, where the normal price is $120.
The Tdap vaccine protects against Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis. Tetanus is also known as “lockjaw” because it can cause painful muscle spasms all over the body. Diphtheria causes a thick covering on the back of the throat that can lead to severe breathing issues.
Pertussis is also known as “Whooping Cough” and in recent years the prevalence has greatly increased. Pertussis causes severe symptoms, that can be fatal, especially in infants and small children, as it leads to severe coughing spells, trouble breathing, disrupted sleep, and may lead to weight loss or rib fractures.
It is highly recommended that parents and all household contacts of infants receive the Tdap vaccination prior to the child’s birth, as Pertussis is extremely contagious. The Tdap vaccine is routinely recommended for adolescents between the ages of 11 and 18 years, as well as any older individual who has never received the Tdap vaccination and will be in close contact with infants. This
vaccination will be offered for $20 per dose, which normally costs $50 per dose.
For more information on clinic times and vaccine availability, call the Edison Public Health nurses at 1-732-248-7286
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