A life-saving vaccine that guards women against the Human Papilloma virus (HPV) will be given to grade-school girls, if the Finance Committee votes to include it in the 2008 health budget next week. On Monday, representatives from various women's organizations visited the Knesset to highlight the importance of the vaccine, Gardisil. HPV is a sexually transmitted disease that has been shown to lead to cervical cancer in women. More than 270,000 women die from cervical cancer each year. Most HPV infections do not exhibit any symptoms and go away without any treatment over the course of a few years. However, HPV infection sometimes persists for many years, and in a percentage of cases it leads to cell abnormalities that can cause cancer. Women must receive three doses of the vaccine, at a total cost of $360, for it to effectively prevent the disease. The cost of adding the vaccine to the health basket will be NIS 60 million, said a Finance Committee official. "This is an important vaccine and we will deliberate and consult with professionals when considering its addition," said a committee spokesman.