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Preteen Vaccine Week (PVW) Highlights Importance of
Adolescent Immunization

News Release:
Half of Adolescents Need Vaccines
Health Officials Recommend Preteen and Teen Vaccines
Click Here To Read Release

Preteen Vaccine Week is a California observance created to highlight the importance of immunizations for “tweens” ages 11 and 12. This year, the Week is set for Feb. 12-18.

The goal of 2012’s Preteen Vaccine Week campaign is to raise awareness about California’s Tdap requirement for incoming 7th grade students, about the federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations and to promote the preteen doctor visit.

Information for Parents: All 11- and 12-year-olds should see their doctor to make sure they are up-to-date on the immunizations that are recommended at their age.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Society for Adolescent Medicine recommend that all 11- and 12-year-olds get a preteen check-up.

This doctor’s visit is a great opportunity for parents and preteens to discuss the challenges of growing up with their health care providers, such as eating right, standing up to peer pressure, drugs and alcohol, and any other concerns. If your child has not yet had a preteen check-up, give them a healthy start as an adolescent and make an appointment today!

Here are the shots recommended for 11- and 12-year olds:

  • Meningococcal vaccine (MCV4) to protect against certain serious types of bacterial meningitis and other related infections;
  • Tdap vaccine to help prevent tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough. By State law, all incoming 7th graders need proof of a Tdap vaccine before starting school;
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine series recommended for preteen girls and boys. It prevents genital warts and cancer, including cervical cancer, later in life;
  • A second chickenpox vaccine; and
  • An annual flu vaccine.

If your preteen has not yet received the whooping cough booster shot (Tdap), please contact your doctor or health department. Getting a booster shot now will protect your child against the ongoing threat of whooping cough and meet the 7th grade immunization requirement for school entry (California law - Assembly Bill 354).

Parents are also advised to get a pertussis booster shot, if they haven’t already, to protect themselves, their families and students.

Your child could be required to stay home from school if they aren't up-to-date with vaccines during a possible outbreak. Measles, flu and pertussis outbreaks have recently occurred in California schools.

If your preteen does not have health insurance, or is only partially insured, ask your doctor or local health department about the Vaccines for Children Program (VFC) and free or low cost vaccines.

Preteen Vaccine Information Resources

MyBestShot - This interactive site for preteens features an immunization rap, games, videos and more.

Vaccines For Your Preteen - Parents will find this new brochure from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) informative and helpful.

School Immunization Requirements - This site also contains links to information much of it downloadable) about vaccines, immunization schedules, the difference between required and recommended vaccines, a parents' guide to childhood immunization, and more.

ShotByShot - This site contains stories about real people whose lives were affected by vaccine-preventable diseases.

Preteens and Teens Still Need Vaccines - This is the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website about preteen and teen immunization. There's a video about the HPV vaccine recommendation for boys, a vaccine quiz, a adolescent vaccine scheduling tool, and more.

For Preteens and Teens - This is an adolescent immunization site from CDC designed especially for preteens and teens.

What Shots Does My Preteen Or Adolescent Need - California Department of Public Health site featuring immunization requirements/recommendations and the diseases they protect against.

AdolescentVaccination.org - The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases maintains this site, which has a wealth of preteen and teen vaccine information. Included is a list of 10 Reasons To Be Vaccinated.