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Boston Celtics fund first teen vaccination delivery program in the country

Providence, RI Reflecting a long-standing commitment to the youth in New England, The Miriam Hospital and Boston Celtics have teamed up to develop the Boston Celtics "Team Vaccinates Teens" program the first program in the country that will test and explore vaccine delivery strategies to adolescents.

Highly safe and effective vaccines that can prevent Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and other sexually transmitted diseases are only beneficial if they are successfully dispersed to the critical age group of adolescents. Through a $25,000 grant from The Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation, researchers at The Miriam Hospital will collaborate with organizations distributing the HPV vaccine to adolescents at high-risk for contracting the disease. The goal of "Team Vaccinates Teens" is for researchers to learn what structures are effective for engaging youth in an extended vaccination program, creating a model that will eventually allow for delivery of an HIV vaccine once one becomes available.

For more than ten years, The Miriam Hospital has been one of the 30 sites in the world that is researching and testing HIV vaccines for adults in the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN). It is expected that HIV vaccine trials will be open to adolescents in approximately two to four years.

"The goal which we believe it is achievable is to license and deliver an effective HIV vaccine within ten years," said Michelle Lally, MD, medical director of the HIV vaccine trials at The Miriam Hospital. "However, if an effective HIV vaccine was approved tomorrow, we would not be able to successfully administer it to the youth in New England without a distribution plan in place. This generous grant allows us to start to test vaccine modalities among adolescents so when anticipated vaccines become available, we can efficiently deliver them to high-risk youth."

"The Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation is proud to collaborate with The Miriam Hospital to create
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Contact: Megan Martin
mmartin@lifespan.org
401-793-7484
Lifespan
6-Nov-2006


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