The first advisory group meeting will be held on September 18, 2008 in Atlanta during which Becton Dickinson and Company's donation will be presented to the Advisory Board, who will determine which sites and countries HPV vaccines will be administered.
It is expected that Becton Dickinson and Company (BD) will supply the first phase of products starting December 2008 to the countries that qualify under Merck's Gardasil Access Program.
BD will support advocacy efforts with governments for adoption of HPV vaccination as a preventive measure against cervical cancer.
Syringes are needed to administer vaccines. By donating these syringes, Becton Dickinson and Company (BD) is enabling Merck to enter the next phase of its 2007 commitment and provide the vaccine at a more affordable cost, one of the key barriers for administrating the vaccines. A disproportionate number of deaths occur from cervical cancer, particularly in the low-income countries of the world. In most of these countries, few women have access to cervical cancer screenings, and, as a result, approximately 250,000 women die from cervical cancer each year. A preventive HPV vaccine such as Gardasil, has the potential to drastically reduce cervical cancer deaths.
Most importantly, safe syringes must be used for administering vaccinations. WHO, UNICEF, and other international agencies recommend auto-disable syringes as the equipment of choice for immunizations. These syringes lock upon injection, thus preventing reuse from one patient to the other. According to the WHO, unsafe injections result in an estimated 21 million Hep B infections, two million Hep C infections, and up to 5,000 HIV/AIDS infections every year.