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The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today announced that Linda M. Niccolai, PhD, ScM, of the Yale School of Public Health, has been named CDC Childhood Immunization Champion for her outstanding efforts to promote childhood immunization in the state of Connecticut. Thirty four Champion awards were given out by the CDC this year across the U.S. as part of National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW).

National Infant Immunization Week(NIIW) is observed annually April 22-27, to highlight the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases and to celebrate the achievements of immunization programs who promote healthy communities throughout the U.S.  During NIIW the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announce their Childhood Immunization Champion awards.These awards acknowledge the outstanding efforts of individuals who strive to ensure that children in their communities are fully immunized against 14 preventable diseases before age two.

“Immunization champions and the work they do are essential to protecting our children, schools, and communities from serious disease,” said Dr. Amanda Cohn, a pediatrician at CDC and the Executive Secretary of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.  “We could not achieve our goal of protecting children without those committed individuals who promote immunizations at the state and local levels.” 

Dr. Niccolai, a resident of Madison, Connecticut, was recognized for her leadership in addressing barriers to human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination at the patient, healthcare provider, and societal levels so that HPV-related cancers may be prevented. An active public speaker and publisher, Dr. Niccolai has worked tirelessly to improve HPV immunization rates, which are lagging behind nearly all other recommended vaccines at the state and national levels. To learn more about Dr. Niccolai and her efforts, click here.


Dr. Byron Kennedy, Director of Health for the New Haven Health Department shared that “We are very happy for Linda, and this is well deserved. We have enjoyed collaborating with her and the City of New Haven Health Department looks forward to continuing to work with her.”


For a list of other CDC Childhood Immunization Champion award winners