The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors proclaimed the past week as Preteen Vaccine Week to highlight the importance of immunizations and regular doctor visits for 11 and 12-year-olds.
California’s youth are our greatest asset, and protecting their health is our responsibility, says Jonathan E. Fielding, MD, MPH, Public Health Director and County Health Officer. Parents of preteens are urged to schedule a wellness check-up with their child’s doctor to make sure immunizations are up-to-date. This visit is a great opportunity for youth to receive any shots they might have missed, and to receive any other immunizations that can protect them against serious diseases.
It is recommended that all 11 and 12-year-olds receive a Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) booster to protect against whooping cough and a meningococcal vaccination. Meningococcal infection can be very serious, and can rapidly progress to meningitis, pneumonia, and even death. Among infected teens, the disease is fatal in about 10% and another 15% will have a long-term disability because of it. A vaccine against human papillomavirus (HPV), which helps protect against cervical disease and cancer later in life is available for girls.
For more information on preteen vaccines, visit the Public Health’s Immunization Program at www.lapublichealth.org/ip