Tuesday, July 21, 2015

"Someone You Love:" The HPV Epidemic

"Someone You Love" 
The HPV Epidemic

Parents who want to learn about giving the HPV vaccine to their children should check out this film. The vaccine is for girls and boys starting at age 11, to protect against cancers caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV).

"It's the best film on this subject in existence. A perfect mix of pathos, science, and medicine with a clear call to action."

- Dr. Paul Offit

Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases - Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Here's a mother's plea for parents to see the film. 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Time for kids to get back-to-school shots


Summer vacation will quickly come to an end, so you are wise to start thinking about back-to-school immunizations for the children.

The best place for kids to get their shots is at their regular doctor. But if that isn't possible, the Florida Department of Health in Broward gives free shots to students at Lauderhill Mall in August. 

The outreach campaign runs from August 10 to 25 at Lauderhill Mall, 1267 NW 40 Ave. Don't miss the highlight -- a health fair and immunization fest on Saturday, August 22, featuring free backpacks, school supplies, fresh produce and family fun.

In addition to the mall campaign, all recommended immunizations are offered at DOH health centers. 

For details or appointments, visit www.broward.floridahealth.gov/programs-and-services/clinical-and-nutrition-services/immunizations/index.html or call 954-467-4705.

Immunizations are especially important for children entering kindergarten and seventh grade, because different requirements begin at those grade levels. Vaccinations required for school include:

  • Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough) – Four or five doses of DTaP vaccine for babies and pre-schoolers. One additional dose, Tdap, before seventh grade.
  • Polio – Three to five doses of vaccine for babies and pre-schoolers.
  • Measles, mumps, rubella (German measles) – Two doses of MMR vaccine for babies and pre-schoolers.
  • Chickenpox – Two doses of vaccine for babies and pre-schoolers. One additional dose before seventh grade. Among adults, the virus can re-emerge and cause the painful skin condition called shingles.
  • Hepatitis B – Three doses of vaccine for babies.

In addition, federal health officials recommend several other immunizations not required for school. These include vaccines against flu (every year starting at age six months), rotavirus (three doses for babies), Haemophilus influenzae B (three to four doses for babies), pneumococcal disease (four doses for babies), hepatitis A (two doses for babies), human papilloma virus (three doses at age 11 or older) and meningococcal disease (two doses at age 11 or older).

For the first time, DOH-Broward will give HPV and meningitis vaccines for free at the Lauderhill Mall event.

Friday, June 19, 2015

New campaign begins to help promote HPV vaccine

Two days of brainstorming by Broward County’s leading immunization advocates produced a big innovation – a three-year plan to increase the number of children vaccinated against HPV.

The Florida Department of Health in Broward County and its community partners led the session and will take a central role in the new push to boost human papilloma virus vaccination for kids starting at age 11-12. More than three dozen people from numerous organizations attended.

“We’re gratified to see all the community partners who helped shape the HPV plan and who will help make it a reality,” says Dr. Paula Thaqi, Director of DOH-Broward. “Our goal is to make HPV widely accepted by families in Broward as a cancer-prevention vaccine to protect their children.”

HPV spreads through sexual contact and can lead to various infections, including cervical cancer. Unlike immunizations required for school, the three-dose HPV vaccine is optional. In Florida, only half of eligible girls and one-quarter of eligible boys receive the first dose. Only one-third of girls and one-eighth of boys received all doses.

To address the problem, DOH-Broward received a $40,000 grant from the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO). Highlights of the coming initiative:

Create a significant publicity and social media campaign to educate parents, children and health professionals about the vaccine. Celebrities will be recruited as HPV spokespersons.

Develop a “toolkit” and an informational website for physicians, so that more of them will educate families about the vaccine.

Share data on vaccination rates with doctors, who may overestimate the vaccine’s acceptance.

In addition, efforts will be made to increase the vaccine's availability and affordability.

“If the vaccine were 100 percent free, more doctors would offer it and more children definitely would get it,” says Dr. Aaron Elkin, who heads an HPV committee at the Broward County Medical Association.

More information: CDC at www.cdc.gov/hpv/vaccine.html

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

New study: No link between vaccines and autism

Here's an informative article from Health Day about the latest study on vaccines and autism. Like the research before it, this new study finds NO connection between the MMR vaccine and autism.

By Amy Norton
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, April 21, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Yet another study finds no evidence that the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine raises the risk of autism -- even among children who are at increased genetic risk.

Experts said the findings, reported in the April 21 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, should be reassuring to parents, particularly those who already have a child with autism.

Read more: http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2015/04/21/another-study-finds-no-vaccine-autism-link

Monday, April 20, 2015

Public is welcome at Coalition meeting 4/21/15

Next Meeting: April 21, 2015 at 3 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Florida Department of Health in Broward County
780 SW 24th St.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33315
2nd Floor Main Conference Room
Everyone is invited!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Campaign Coming to Increase HPV Vaccine in Broward

Some parents don’t like to hear about it. Some doctors don’t like to talk about it. As a result, the Florida Department of Health in Broward County will start a special initiative to increase it.

“It” is the vaccine for human papillomavirus (HPV), which federal experts recommend for girls and boys starting at age 11-12 to prevent cancers caused by the sexually transmitted infection.

Unlike other vaccines, HPV is not required for school enrollment in Florida and is not offered by some physicians. Vaccination rates are low nationally, especially in Broward and Florida.

Hoping to boost the rates, DOH-Broward won a special $40,000 grant over two years from the National Association of County and City Health Officials. The grants were given to only nine organizations nationwide from states that have low HPV vaccination rates.

DOH-Broward and its community partners in the Immunization Action Coalition are planning a campaign to start in summer that aims to increase the number of adolescents vaccinated against HPV.

“We think the major issue is education,” says Dr. Paula Thaqi, Director of DOH-Broward. “Parents may be hesitant about the vaccine. We need to communicate that the vaccine can prevent cancers.”

In addition, there’s a logistical hurdle to solve. The vaccine is given in three doses over six months, but many families who come for the first dose never return for the second or third dose, Thaqi says.

Actions that are expected to be part of the campaign will be to inform medical providers about the vaccine, educate families and create a system to remind families about the follow-up doses.

In 2013, an estimated 50 percent of Florida girls got a first dose of HPV vaccine (seventh lowest among states) and 28 percent of boys (17th lowest), says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Only 34 percent of Florida girls and 13 percent of boys had all three doses. The rates in South Florida are thought to be similar. 

Parents can help DOH-Broward with the campaign, by taking a Parent Survey on Human Papillomavirus. The nine-question survey is anonymous and will take only a few minutes to complete. The answers from parents will help direct what educational actions are made during the HPV campaign. Thank you for participating.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Broward County Immunization Action Coalition

Next Meeting: March 17, 2015 at 3 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Florida Department of Health in Broward County
780 SW 24th St.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33315
2nd Floor Main Conference Room
Everyone is invited!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Broward County Immunization Action Coalition