Preteen Immunization Week - New Vaccines Are Here
January 22, 2007
A local health department is encouraging parents to have their preteens immunized with newly recommended vaccines that protect from the human papillomavirus (HPV) and other preventable diseases.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently issued new vaccination recommendations for all 11 to 12 year olds. Contra Costa Health Services is raising awareness during Preteen Vaccine Week, January 21-27th, about the importance of the newly recommended immunizations and encouraging parents to schedule visits with their health care providers to get preteens the vaccines they need.
"Immunizations have provided us protection from many devastating diseases. The newly licensed HPV vaccine will help protect girls from human papillomavirus which could lead to cervical cancer," said Erika Jenssen, Immunization Coordinator for Contra Costa Public Health.
Jenssen said HPV is the most common sexually transmitted virus in the US. The new vaccine protects girls from four major types of HPV including two types that cause about 70 percent of cervical cancer. The HPV vaccine is given as a 3-dose series over six months.
In addition to the HPV vaccine for girls, new immunization recommendations for all 11-12 year olds also include a meningococcal shot, a Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) booster and a second chickenpox shot if they’ve never had chickenpox disease.
"Regular visits to the doctor during preteen and adolescence is important. It ensures youth are up-to-date with their vaccines and receive the screening they need to stay healthy and safe as they reach the teenage years," said Jenssen.
Contra Costa Public Health Immunization Clinics offer the vaccines at a minimal cost. More information about the Public Health Immunization Clinics is available at cchealth.org or by calling 1-800-246-2494.
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