By Eryn Pinksen
NAITSA’s student health plan now covers Gardasil 9. The executives made the adjustment to the health plan after an increased number of students were requesting coverage of this vaccine.
Gardasil 9 protects against the human papillomavirus (HPV).
Haley Pickard is the Benefit Plans and ESTL Coordinator at NAITSA and she explained that this was an adjustment to the plan to replace the previously covered Hepatitis B vaccine.
“We saw a lot of international students coming in requesting [Gardasil 9] and we didn’t have it up until this year,” said Pickard. “We noticed how frequently people were coming in requesting it.”
Many Canadian junior high schools offered the Gardasil vaccination to women under the age of 14, but it was not offered to men.
Anyone who has received vaccinations in Alberta can contact Alberta Health Services to receive a copy of their vaccination record.
After the age of 14 the vaccine must be administered in three separate injections rather than two. Gardasil 9’s vaccines are administered two months and five months apart and each are approximately $150.
“We have coverage for students that begins September 1st and goes to August 31st and whatever is on the plan is what they get,” said Pickard. “We can ask the brokers with any questions throughout the year.”
NAIT Health Services has partnered with other post-secondaries in the city to allow nursing students to complete pop-up education and awareness activities for their program. On Thursday, MacEwan nursing students will be set up outside of Common Market to promote awareness of HPV and Gardasil 9. Throughout the year there will be pop-up awareness sessions set-up at NAIT from nursing students across Edmonton.
The Gardasil 9 vaccine is not replacing the Hepatitis B vaccine. The students’ health plan will cover both the Hepatitis B and Gardasil 9 vaccine.