Preteens Need To Get Set for 7th!
February 12-18, 2017 is Preteen Vaccine Week, and the County Health and Human Services Agency is encouraging parents to make sure their adolescents are immunized against serious diseases like,pertussis (whooping cough), influenza, Human papillomavirus (HPV), and meningitis.
Preteen Vaccine Week’s slogan, “Get Set for 7th,” emphasizes the importance of pertussis vaccine for adolescents getting ready to enter 7th grade. All incoming 7th graders are required to provide proof of immunization against whooping cough before starting school. Pertussis continues to be a serious problem in San Diego, the state and across the U.S., and is a reminder that parents also need to have their preteens vaccinated with the whooping cough booster shot, Tdap, to protect them against whooping cough.
Pertussis (whooping cough) is a common respiratory disease in adolescents. It can cause severe coughing spells that lead to vomiting or broken ribs. Preteens suffering from whooping cough can be hospitalized and miss weeks of school. Older children and adults can inadvertently spread pertussis to babies who are too young to have completed the initial series of immunizations against it.
Influenza can strike anyone at any age, sometimes causing severe illness and hospitalization. There are several thousand deaths each year attributed to influenza. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get an annual flu vaccine. And since flu season often lasts into the spring, it’s not too late to get protected.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is recommended for both boys and girls at age 11 or 12 years to protect against HPV infections that can cause certain types of cervical and other cancers. It’s important to get this vaccine during preteen years because the body’s immune system responds better to the vaccine at these ages.
Did you know? Two doses of the HPV vaccine, instead of three, are now recommended for 11-12-year-olds. Read a news release about this from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by clicking here.
The HPV vaccine works well; a recent study shows that the infections prevented by the vaccine have dropped by 56 percent in teenage girls since it was introduced in 2006.
Meningococcal vaccine protects against meningococcal meningitis, a rare but serious infection which can strike even healthy teenagers. Ten percent of teens who get the disease die, and another 15 percent suffer long-term disability such as loss of limbs, deafness, nervous system problems or brain damage.
A preteen doctor visit is an opportunity for you to get your child these and other recommended immunizations and to discuss
health issues and concerns.
Preteen (11-12 years old) Vaccine Checklist:
Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis)--required for incoming 7th graders
Flu (every year)
Human Papillomavirus (HPV)— 3 dose series recommended for girls and boys
Any catch-up vaccines (such as a 2nd dose of MMR [measles, mumps, rubella] and chickenpox)
If you’re a parent of a preteen, make it a goal to schedule a visit with your doctor now, and urge other parents to do so.
Questions? Please visit www.sdiz.org, www.GetImmunizedCA.org and www.ShotsforSchool.org. For true stories about people whose lives were affected by vaccine-preventable diseases, visit www.shotbyshot.org.
CDC Has Easy-to-Understand Preteen/Teen Recommended Immunization Schedule Available on Its Website
(Note: The link below is to the CDC 2016 Recommended Immunization schedule for preteens/teens. The 2017 schedule for preteens/teens is expected to be released later in February and the link will be posted here when available.)
This user-friendly schedule covers the immunizations recommended for ages 7-18 years, in a colorful and easy-to-read format. You can download it here. That same web page also features the schedule in Spanish, as well as a quiz on adolescent immunizations and a downloadable tool to determine which vaccines your 7-18-year-old may need.
For more information about four important vaccines preteens and teens may need, visit this CDC web page.
Immunization Comfort Tips for Parents of Preteens
Nobody enjoys shots, but they are necessary to help protect your preteen’s health. For a list of tips to help make your preteen less uncomfortable before, during and after shots, click here. (This sheet is from the 2014 PVW campaign, but it's information is still