Preteen Vaccination Week Is Coming

Preteen Vaccine Week takes place once a year in February. Take action during the week of February 12–18, 2017 by scheduling a doctor visit for your preteen to get vaccinated against 4 harmful diseases:

  • Whooping cough,
  • Cancers caused by HPV,
  • Bacterial meningitis, and
  • The flu.

Why vaccinate?

Vaccines are the best way to protect your child from getting a harmful disease. Schedule your child’s appointment today to make sure he or she is up to date on these important vaccines. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and California Department of Public Health says preteens should get these vaccines:

  • Age 11-12: 1 dose of the Tdap vaccine. This protects against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough).
  • Age 11-12” The HPV (human papilloma virus) vaccine. This protects against certain types of cancer caused by HPV.
  • Age 11-12: The quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine. This protects against bacterial meningitis. When your teen turns 16, get them a booster shot.
  • Preteens and teens: The flu vaccine every year, as soon as the vaccine is offered.

Facts about these vaccines

Whooping cough (pertussis) can cause severe coughing that lead to vomiting or broken ribs. Preteens may end up in the hospital and miss weeks of school. Most children are given this vaccine early in life, but the vaccine fades over time. Under state law, all 7th grade students need proof of a whooping cough booster shot (Tdap) before starting school.

HPV vaccine is safe and can protect boys and girls from HPV infections that can cause certain cancers. Boys and girls should receive the HPV vaccine series (3 shots).

Bacterial meningitis is a harmful illness that can lead to death in as little as 48 hours. It can also cause:

  • brain damage
  • loss of your arm and leg
  • kidney damage, and
  • death.

The flu is more harmful than the common cold. It can lead to hospital visits and death. People 6 months of age and older need to get the flu vaccine once a year. It is best to get the shot right before flu season starts.

If your child missed these vaccines at age 11 or 12, its OK. It is not too late. Talk with your child’s doctor about getting them caught up.

To learn more about vaccines for preteens and teens, please visit CDC’s Vaccines for Preteens and Teens website at To learn more about which vaccines your teen needs to attend school, visit

Thank you for helping California’s preteens stay healthy and for taking part in Preteen Vaccine Week, February 12–18 2017.

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Mashi Nyssen