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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote, and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, and community efforts.

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By Florida Department of Health, Office of Communications

November 02, 2017


Communications Office
(850) 245-4111

Tallahassee, Fla. — The Florida Department of Health in Collier County was named by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a 2017 HPV Vaccine Award winner. This award recognizes clinicians, clinics, practices or health systems that work in their communities to protect adolescent patients from cancers caused by human papilloma (HPV).

“I am proud of the work the DOH-Collier Immokalee Clinic has done over the last four years to improve HPV vaccination rates in their community,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary Dr. Celeste Philip. “Their commitment to preventing cancers caused by HPV infection and ensuring that every child and parent that visits the clinic are educated about the benefits of the HPV vaccine has a positive impact on the health of their county and our state.”

“In true public health fashion, our Immokalee team identified a public health challenge and worked to improve the health of a population. Their efforts reflect their professionalism and dedication to tackling what for some groups can be a taboo subject and placed the focus upon a universally accepted prevention subject,” DOH-Collier Administrator Stephanie Vick said.

The Immokalee Clinic dedicated their efforts to making sure that all staff members were knowledgeable about the vaccine and could advocate for its importance in cancer prevention. Because staff were able to effectively communicate the importance, coverage rates steadily increased. The clinic achieved series completion rates of 76.2 percent for 13 to 15 year olds.

HPV is a very common virus that can cause certain cancers including cancer of the genitals, head and neck. CDC reports that HPV causes 30,700 cancers in men and women every year. The HPV vaccine can prevent many of them.

All children who are 11 or 12 years old should get two shots of HPV vaccine six to 12 months apart. Children over 14 years of age require three shots over the course of six months. HPV vaccines are safe, effective and provide long-lasting protection against cancers caused by HPV. Your health care provider or local CHD can administer the HPV vaccine.

For information about the other 2017 CDC HPV Vaccine Champion Award winners, please visit

To learn more about the department’s efforts to increase immunization rates in Florida, visit the Immunization Section Website.

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.

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