Forum to discuss HPV vaccine held today

Amanda Hayes

Eta Sigma Gamma will host an open forum in the Student Center Governance Chambers tonight at 7 p.m. to discuss the addition of an HPV vaccine to next year’s Student Health Insurance Plan.

Mary Reeves, the University Health Services director, and Ray Leone, chief university physician, will give short presentations to begin the forum and will then open the discussion to students.

Reeves said she is eager to get feedback from students at the forum, especially those who are currently covered by the Student Health Insurance Plan.

“This is a very difficult choice, and we need to have a comprehensive dialogue before we make a decision,” Reeves said.

The DeWeese Health Center offers the Gardasil vaccination, but Gardasil is not covered by the university’s Student Health Insurance Plan. The three-part vaccination costs $450 for uninsured students.

The addition of the HPV vaccination to the university insurance plan would raise the premium, affecting all students covered by Student Health Insurance Plan. The university is gathering quotes from several insurance companies to determine how much the premium will need to be raised, Reeves said.

Eta Sigma Gamma president Colin Dean said he organized the program to help students realize the importance of safe-sex practices in order to prevent HPV and other STDs. He said he wants students to be aware of the HPV virus and thinks the vaccine should be available to all students.

“If you want your voice heard, this is your opportunity to share it,” Dean said.

Those who attend will be entered to win prizes, including an iPod Nano.

– Amanda Hayes