Gardasil, Merck and Company’s vaccine for the prevention of cervical cancer in girls, may be effective in preventing women up to the age of 45 from contracting the disease, suggests new research. Merck researchers examined 3,800 women between the ages of 24 and 45 and found that Gardasil prevented more than 90 percent of cases of persistent infection, pre-cancers, genital warts and minor cervical abnormalities that are caused by four strains of human papillomavirus (HPV). Currently, Gardasil is approved for use in girls and women ages 9 to 26; Merck is hoping to expand this to include older women.