Monday, June 5, 2017

Where to get your back-to-school immunizations

The best place to have your child immunized for admission to school in 2017-18 is at your regular family doctor. But if that is not possible, several health organizations in Broward County are offering free back-to-school vaccinations over the summer. 

Here are three:




Edgar P. Mills Health Center, Fort Lauderdale.
Paul Hughes Health Center, Pompano Beach.
Appointments 954-467-4705.

Also at Lauderhill Mall (see flyer)

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

National Infant Immunization Week

Hello. Here is some information and a link to the CDC's Toolkit for National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW), April 22 to 29.

The toolkit details events and activities, online resources, sample social media content and materials for the annual observance of NIIW. The CDC's welcome message and a link to the NIIW web site are found below. We hope you will find these resources helpful as you engage and promote NIIW messages. Thank you.

Samhara Estrada, Acting Chair of the Broward Immunization Action Coalition


To assist partners in our collective efforts to spread the word about the positive impact of vaccination, and to call attention to immunization achievements, we have created this digital toolkit for partners which details events and activities, online resources, sample social media content, and materials. We hope you will find these resources helpful as you engage and promote NIIW messages.

National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) is an annual observance to highlight the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases and celebrate the achievements of immunization programs and their partners in promoting healthy communities. Since 1994, local and state health departments, national immunization partners, healthcare professionals, community leaders from across the United States, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have worked together through NIIW.

CDC relies heavily on partners like you to promote our messages about the critical role vaccination plays in protecting our children, communities, and public health. This year, NIIW will be observed from April 22—April 29. We encourage you to get involved in NIIW and thank you helping us spread the word about childhood immunizations.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Webinar Training Opportunity
HPV Vaccinations: From Recommendations to Practice
Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at Noon EST

The Florida Department of Health, Immunization Section would like to share an upcoming training opportunity, HPV Vaccinations: From Recommendations to Practice.”  The human papillomaviruses (HPV) cause over 31,000 cases of cancer in the U.S. each year. 
Join National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) President-Elect, Joseph A. Bocchini, Jr., MD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics Health Sciences Center at Louisiana State University and Tracy Bieber, RN, BSN, Immunization Strategy Manager at Sanford Health System for an update on current Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations regarding the use of HPV vaccines and strategies for improving immunization rates. 
This webinar is scheduled for Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at Noon EST Register Now!
At the conclusion of this activity, participants will be able to:
  • Discuss the epidemiology, clinical manifestations, and outcomes of HPV infection
  • Discuss ACIP recommendations for the use of HPV vaccines and the rationale for universal immunization
  • Discuss safety of HPV vaccines and early data on vaccine effectiveness
Continuing Nursing Education (CNE)
This continuing nursing education activity was approved by the Ohio Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation (OBN-001-91). It has been approved for a maximum of 1.0 contact hour.
Continuing Medical Education (CME)
The NFID is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. NFID designates this continuing material for a maximum of 1.0 American Medical Association Physician’s Recognition Award (AMA PRA) Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. 
Please review the attached documents and distribute to appropriate staff. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Dearline Thomas-Brown, MPH, BSN, RN, Executive Community Health Nursing Director at (850) 245-4444, ext. 2384.
Robert M. Griffin, Administrator
Immunization Section, Bureau of Epidemiology
Division of Disease Control and Health Protection
(850) 245-4331,

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Webinar -- Vaccine Confidence: Key to Communicating

The Florida Department of Health Immunization Section would like to share with its partners, colleagues and the community an educational webcast and live Q&A session.

The webcast will be hosted by Sanofi Pasteur and is titled Vaccine Confidence: The Key to Communicating with Parents and Patients. Registration is required.

Topics addressed will be vaccine acceptance, hesitancy and resistance. The program goal is to increase confidence and comfort levels of health care professionals to better equip them for conversations with parents and patients. Communication techniques will be demonstrated by expert staff.

Speakers include:

  • Gary S. Marshall, MD
    Professor of Pediatrics
    Chief, Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases
    Director, Pediatric Clinical Trials Unit
    University of Louisville School of Medicine     
  • Carole H. Moloney, RN, MSN, CPNP
    Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
    Boston Medical Center
    Clinical Instructor, Pediatrics
    Boston University School of Medicine      

 Four sessions are scheduled:

  • Tuesday, March 7, 2:00 p.m. EST
  • Thursday, March 9, 12:00 p.m. EST
  • Tuesday, March 14, 3:00 p.m. EST
  • Thursday, March 16, 1:00 p.m. EST

To register, please visit:

Feel free to distribute this information to anyone who provides or has an interest in immunizations. If you have questions or need additional information regarding vaccine recommendations, please contact Dearline Thomas-Brown, MPH, BSN, RN, Executive Community Health Nursing Director for the Immunization Section at 850-245-4342.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Childhood Immunization Champion Award

Do you know someone who has gone above and beyond on childhood vaccinations? You can considering nominating him or her for the Florida Childhood Immunization Champion Award Program.  

Please note the deadline for submitting the form is Friday, February 17, 2017.  

2017 Florida Childhood Immunization Champion Award Program

The Florida Department of Health Immunization Section on behalf of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the CDC Foundation is proud to announce the sixth Annual Childhood Immunization Champion Award Program. The award honors individuals who are doing an exemplary job or going above and beyond to promote or foster childhood immunizations in their communities. Award recipients for 2017 will be announced during National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW), April 22-29, 2017.

Award Criteria

Champions can include coalition members, parents, health care professionals (e.g., physicians, nurses, physicians’ assistants, nurse practitioners, medical assistants, etc.), and other immunization leaders who meet the award criteria. State immunization program managers, state and federal government employees of health agencies, individuals who have been affiliated with and/or employed by pharmaceutical companies, and those who have already received the award are not eligible to apply.

When nominating and selecting a Champion, immunization programs should base their nominations on meeting one or more of the following criteria:

  • Leadership: The candidate is considered an authority on immunization in their community, medical system, or individual practice. Activities may include acting as a spokesperson, trainer, mentor, or educator.
  • Collaboration: The candidate has worked to build support for and increase immunization rates in infants and young children. Activities may include establishing or strengthening partnerships, coalitions, committees, working groups, or other.
  • Innovation: The candidate has used creative or innovative strategies to promote immunization or address challenges to immunization in their practice, community, state, or region. Activities may include either new strategies or adapting existing strategies in new ways such as for reaching under-immunized populations.  

  • Advocacy: The candidate is active in advancing policies and best practices to support immunization in infants and young children in their community, state, or region. Activities may include providing legislative testimony or promoting, analyzing, or evaluating policies. 

Eligibility information and nominating forms have been attached for your convenience.

Please submit ALL nomination packets to Dearline Thomas-Brown, MPH, BSN, RN, Executive Community Health Nursing Director, Florida Department of Health, Immunization Section at, by February 17, 2017 (extended).

Please distribute this important information to colleagues, members, coalitions, and partners who provide or have an interest in immunizations. Please place this information prominently on your website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Dearline Thomas-Brown, MPH, BSN, RN, Executive Community Health Nursing Director, Florida Department of Health, Immunization Section at 850-245-4342, ext. 2384 or

Monday, January 30, 2017

A CDC toolkit to address HPV

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention collected a number of tools that immunization advocates, clinicians and parents can use to talk about the vaccine against human papilloma virus. Here are all the particulars...

We have an amazing tool to protect young people from most of the cancers caused by HPV, including cervical cancer. Let’s use the rest of January to raise awareness of all HPV cancers and HPV vaccination. 
CDC and several partner organizations have compiled a multitude of resources for the new
HPV Vaccination Partner Toolkit that can help you share the importance of HPV vaccination, help clinicians make effective recommendations, improve coverage rates, and provide you with places you can go to get more information and materials. Below are ways you can raise awareness this month and in the future.

Share Why HPV Vaccine is Important

     1.  Have Survivors Come to Speak
     Having a survivor come speak to clinicians in the area can
     make a big impact. The American Cancer Society has
     developed a speaker database that will allow you to find
     HPV cancer survivors in your area.

survivor video
     2. Share Survivor Videos
     HPV cancer survivors have a unique and powerful story to tell.
     Listen to these men and women talk about their experiences
     important. These videos can be used to help parents and
     clinicians understand  the risks of HPV infection and why HPV
     vaccination is so important.


     3. Set up a viewing of Someone You Love
     “Someone You Love: The HPV Epidemic” is a feature length
     in-depth documentary narrated by Vanessa Williams on the
     human papilloma virus (HPV) and the stories of
     struggle, tragedy and triumph surrounding this complicated
     and often misunderstood infection.


     4. Discover the Link Between HPV and Cancer
     Each year, about 38,793 new cases of cancer are found in
     parts of the body where human papillomavirus (HPV) is often 
     found. HPV causes about 30,700 of these cancers. Get the
     statistics around HPV and Cancer from CDC to better
     understand t
he burden of HPV infection.

Help Clinicians Make Effective Recommendations

     1. Share the Updated Clinician Factsheet
     Our updated clinician tipsheet highlights the use of the
     "bundled recommendation" and gives simple and effective
     answers to the questions parents have about HPV vaccine.


     2. Learn How to Give an Effective Recommendation
     CDC has created multiple CME courses on the best ways to
     give an HPV vaccine recommendation. Each course can be
     used to get new insight on how to have the HPV vaccine
     conversation with parents of 11-12 year olds and how to
     answer their questions.


MN Video
      3. Watch Providers Giving Effective Recommendations
      Minnesota Department of Health has created a 12-minute
      video for health care providers on HPV vaccine  
      communication. The video begins with humorous vignettes
      and then presents four model clinical encounters in which
      providers demonstrate low-stress ways of recommending
      HPV vaccine and answering questions from patients and
Help Raise HPV Vaccination Rates

what do
     1.  Know the Many Ways You Can Help
     Get tips on what different types of groups can do to help
     raise rates. This PDF includes suggestions like: sending
     letters to parents of 9-12 year olds, hosting lunch and learns,   
     working with local cancer groups, reaching out to local
     health systems, and more.


     2.  Understand your Rates
     Access survey data collected by CDC and translate the data
     into action. This data can help you identify where additional
     efforts are needed to increase vaccination coverage.


     3.  Get Involved in Quality Improvement Projects
     Quality improvement actions in your practice can lead to
     increases in HPV vaccination coverage. Find out more about
     the different types of quality improvement projects that are
     available, including AFIX visits, reminder/recall, immunization
     information systems, and more.


     4.  Participate in A Maintenance of Certification Project
     Be a part of AAP's maintenance of certification program.
     AAP's MOC site is designed to assist eligible AAP Member
     pediatricians in developing, submitting, and managing a
     MOC related activity.
Get More Resources

partner toolkit
     1. CDC's HPV Partner Toolkit
     This toolkit provides resources for state and local
     organizations interested in enhancing HPV vaccination
     efforts at the clinician, patient, and partnership level.
     It includes all of CDC's resources for helping to promote
     HPV vaccine and give links to partner information.


     2. The American Cancer Soceity
     The American Cancer Society has several HPV vaccination
     rate improvement initiatives. The HPV VACs project
     partners with Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs),
     state health departments, and other state-based entities to
     increase HPV vaccination rates through improved clinician
     education and systems change. The National HPV
     Vaccination Roundtable, coordinated by the American
     Cancer Society is a national coalition of over 70 national
     organizations working together to prevent HPV cancer and
     precancer by increasing and sustaining HPV vaccination
     rates in the United States..


AAp toolkit
     3. The AAP's HPV Champion Toolkit.
     This toolkit from the American Academy of Pediatrics has
     some of the best resources available to help you educate
     other healthcare professionals, discuss HPV vaccination
     with parents, and make necessary changes in your practice
     to improve HPV vaccination rates. 


     4. Local Partners
     Many organizations have local initiatives to increase HPV
     vaccination rates. Use this page to find your state contacts,
     as well as information on several partner projects dedicated
     to preventing HPV cancers and diseases.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

How we talk to parents about HPV vaccine is important

The way health professionals talk about the human papilloma virus vaccine can improve the chances that parents will agree to immunize their children.

That was the experience of the Florida Department of Health in Broward County during its annual back-to-school immunization campaign in August.

DOH-Broward nurses nearly doubled the number of HPV shots they gave during the 2016 campaign at Lauderhill Mall, by simply telling parents that HPV vaccine protects kids against cancer.

“When HPV becomes a part of routine vaccination and is presented as cancer prevention, parents are more apt to agree to the vaccination for their child,” DOH-Broward staff wrote in a summary on the success of the practice.

HPV vaccine is given to boys and girls starting at age 11. During the mall campaign, DOH-Broward vaccinated 1,640 children for HPV, vs. 903 in 2015, the first year it was offered. That’s an 82 percent jump. Of those, 1,256 were initial doses, 228 were second doses and 156 were third doses.
HPV vaccine is not required for school admission, and some parents hesitate to say yes because HPV is a sexually transmitted disease. Federal data from 2013 rank Florida among the lowest in HPV vaccinations, with 39.4 percent of females receiving one dose.

But reframing the conversation helped.

“The success of this practice was due to training immunization nurses on how to talk to parents about HPV and willingness of nurses to implement these new methods,” says
Terri Sudden, Director of Public Health Preparedness and Response. She will give a presentation on the approach at a statewide immunization conference.

The same approach helped increase HPV vaccine rates at DOH-Broward clinics, which gave 2,577 doses last year, almost triple the 869 given in 2015.

Offering HPV vaccine at DOH-Broward settings is part of a three-pronged project DOH-Broward began in 2015.

The other parts involve training medical professionals to pro-mote the vaccine routinely, and to distribute educational palm cards in the community (over 5,000 so far). The project continues this year.