Department of Health & Human Services

Posted on: February 14, 2017

Make preteen vaccines a priority

The need for vaccinations does not end with early childhood. As kids approach their junior high years, so does the need for updated immunizations.

“Some childhood vaccines provide immunity that can gradually decrease over time, exposing a child to serious preventable diseases like whooping cough that could easily spread to others in the family, school and community,” said Humboldt County Department of Health & Human Services Immunization Coordinator Susan Wardrip.”

Public Health is encouraging parents to renew their children’s immunization during Preteen Vaccine Week, which runs Feb. 12 to 18. This statewide observance serves to remind families about recommended and required immunizations for 11- and 12-year-olds.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recommends preteens get vaccinations to prevent diseases like meningitis, influenza and human papillomavirus (HPV). Some may need to catch up on other immunizations, including hepatitis B, chickenpox, mumps, measles, rubella, polio or other conditions. The CDC also recommends all 11- and 12-year-olds get a preteen checkup.

California state law requires students entering seventh grade to provide proof of a Tdap booster shot before starting school. The Tdap shot protects against tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough.

According to the CDC, children can develop risks for certain infections as they enter the preteen and teen years.

“Vaccinations help foster a healthy life throughout the adolescent years and beyond,” Wardrip said. “Immunizing your children is one of the easiest and most important things you can do to protect their health and the health of your community.”
The Public Health Clinic—located at 529 I St. in Eureka—offers a variety of services, including childhood, adult and travel immunizations. For more information, call the clinic at 707-268-2108.

For more information about preteen immunizations, visit the CDC online at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/who/teens/index.html.

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