Preteen Vaccine Week Through March 9
Source: Public Health Department
Preventing diseases that can spread in our communities is the foundation of public health. This week, Santa Barbara County Public Health Department is joining with the California Department of Public Health in recognizing March 3rd-9th as “Preteen Vaccine Week,” focusing on protecting kids 11 and 12 against dangerous vaccine-preventable diseases.
Vaccines are our best defense when it comes to giving our children safe and effective protection from infectious diseases. By ensuring kids stay up-to-date on recommended vaccinations, we are helping protect children, families, and community from serious, life-threatening illnesses.
Preteens need vaccines against whooping cough (Tdap), HPV, and meningitis (MenACWY), when they are 11-12 years old. Incoming 7th graders must also provide proof of having received the whooping cough shot and, now beginning in the upcoming school year, two doses of chickenpox vaccine before starting school. Additional meningitis vaccines are recommended when teens are 16 years old. Flu vaccine is also recommended for everyone 6 months or older, not just preteens and teens.
If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to ask your doctor about the vaccines recommended for your child at their preteen visit, plus a flu vaccination every year. Under the Affordable Care Act, most health plans are required to cover recommended vaccines at all ages without charging a deductible or copayment. Any child without coverage should be able to get vaccinations without a financial burden. Parents can contact their health care provider or local health department for information about the Vaccines for Children Program (VFC), which provides free vaccines to eligible kids. For more information, please visit www.GetImmunizedCA.org.