USF Health researchers launch immunization campaign

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A team of USF Health researchers are celebrating World Immunization Week by kicking off a campaign that focuses on immunizations. They join health advocates in 180 countries around the globe who unite to mark this occasion during the last week in April.

Sponsored by the World Health Organization, World Immunization Week promotes the message that vaccinations are one of the most effective public health interventions in modern history.

Immunization Week logo

According to the CDC’s latest Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, vaccines will prevent 322 million illnesses, 21 million hospitalizations, and 732,000 deaths in the United States. Recent outbreaks throughout the United States and Europe of measles and whooping cough, which are vaccine-preventable, have been attributed to non-vaccination or under-vaccination.

A multi-disciplinary research group at USF, comprised of infectious diseases, health disparities, biology, and public health specialists are partnering with local communities to bring high-quality vaccination information and services to adults in Hillsborough and Polk counties. The project is called VaccineLink-Conexión de Salud and the goals are threefold:

  • Create long-lasting partnerships with low-income and minority communities,
  • Provide high-quality, accurate and sustainable information about vaccines and vaccine-preventable diseases, and
  • Increase access to vaccines

USF Health investigators leading the project include Jamie Morano, MD, MPH, assistant professor of medicine, Division of Infectious Disease & International Medicine; Dawood Sultan, PhD, assistant professor of public health, Department of Health Policy and Management (HPM); Meghan Borysova, PhD, Health Equity Leadership Institute Scholar and research associate in HPM, and April Schenck, MBA, grant coordinator. The team is joined by trained public health professionals and Spanish language experts/translators Arturo Rebollon, MD, MPH, Viviana Delgado, and Veronica Estrella, MS. In the near future, community member health liaisons and web-platform skilled technology experts join the project to help farther its reach.

Hillsborough and Polk county individuals interested in learning more about VaccineLink-Conexión de Salud should contact Ms. April Schenck at

Written by Drs. Arturo Rebollon and Meghan Borysova, USF College of Public Health. Photo courtesy of WHO.

Related story:
Pfizer awards $475,000 grant to Drs. David Sultan, Jamie Morano, and Meghan Borysova for vaccine uptake