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By Maggie Hall, PIO - Contact Number: 727-824-6908

January 11, 2017

Health professionals will learn and share resources to promote vaccines for adolescents at the 2017 Florida Annual Immunization Summit during Thursday-Saturday, Feb. 2-4 in St. Petersburg. The event is presented by the Florida Department of Health Immunization Section with other partners and will take place at the Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront Hotel, 333 First St. S.

The Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County (DOH-Pinellas) worked on the local coordination of the summit and some of its staff will present during the event.

The three-day summit focuses on best practices to promote adolescent immunizations and eliminate vaccine-preventable diseases. Panels and breakout sessions will bring health professionals, students, advocates, administrators, coalitions and community members together for in-depth discussions on topics such as diversity in health care, immunization for colleges and strategies to increase immunization rates.

Speakers will include Florida State Surgeon General Dr. Celeste Philip; Dr. David Berman, Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; DOH-Pinellas Director Dr. Ulyee Choe and National Meningitis Association President Lynn Bozof.

The summit’s agenda is posted at For information and to register, go to

Some discussions will focus on specific vaccines such as those for Tdap (tetanus/diphtheria/acellular pertussis), flu and HPV (human papillomavirus).

For adolescent males and females, the HPV vaccine introduced in 2006 is recommended by the Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP). The Centers for Disease Control and Preventions has reported a 64 percent reduction in HPV infections protected by vaccines among teen girls in the United States since then. Studies have shown that fewer teens are getting genital warts and cervical pre-cancers are decreasing along with reports of fewer infections.

The ACIP recommends vaccinating boys and girls ages 11 to 12 years old. The HPV vaccine may be given starting at 9 years of age and through the age of 26 for those who did not get any or all of the shots when they were younger.

The summit is presented by these partners: Suwannee River Area Health Education Center; Florida Department of Health; the Partnership to Immunize Teens and Children Against HPV; the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics; Moffitt Cancer Center; the Pinellas Immunization Team for Community Health and the National AHEC Organization HPV Immunization Project.

For information about the HPV vaccine, go to

For information about DOH-Pinellas, go to or follow us on Twitter @HealthyPinellas.

About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit