As part of their ongoing campaign to get older kids – think tweens and teens – to get the immunizations they need, public health experts have declared Feb. 12-18 Preteen Vaccine Week. Here is some information from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health about updated vaccine recommendations and changes to state law that apply to this age group. Ideally, these vaccines are given as part of routine doctor visits, to give healthcare providers a chance to discuss other health issues.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now recommending the following for all 11-12 year olds:
- One dose of meningococcal vaccine;
- One dose of Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis) vaccine;
- Annual seasonal influenza vaccine;
- Three doses of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine.
The CDC previously recommended the HPV vaccine only for girls, but is now recommending it for boys in the same age group. Children over the age of 12 who may not have received vaccine or who have missed doses can get caught up at any time.
Recommendations for older teenagers include a second dose of meningococcal vaccine between ages 16 and 18. Everyone, six months of age and older and medically eligible, should receive a flu shot every year.
Middle School Pertussis Immunization Requirement
In 2011, a California law went into effect requiring all students who entered 7th-12th grade in the 2011-2012 school year to show proof of a Tdap vaccine. For the 2012-2013 school year and beyond, only students entering 7th grade – at public, private, charter, and home schools – will need to show proof they received an adolescent Tdap vaccine.
In 2011-2012, schools and parents were given a grace period to comply with the Tdap booster vaccine requirement. A grace period has not been approved for the 2012-2013 school year. Parents and guardians with students entering 7th grade in 2012 will need to ensure their child has been vaccinated with Tdap in order to avoid a delay in starting school.
Minor Consent Law
A new California law that went into effect Jan. 1 allows anyone 12 years of age and older to consent to medical care related to the prevention of a sexually transmitted disease (STD). The new law allows minors to consent to receive HPV and Hepatitis B vaccines.
Resources for Vaccinations
Anyone without a regular health care provider or health insurance coverage for vaccines can call the L.A. County Information Line at 2-1-1 from any cell phone or land line in the county, or visit www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/ip, for referrals to providers offering vaccines at no charge or a reduced charge.
For more information about adolescent immunization recommendations, vaccine safety information, and information about the Tdap school entry requirement, visit:
- Shots For School
- The CA Dept. of Public Health Preteen Vaccine Week Page
- The CDC’s Preteen Vaccines Page
- Find stories of vaccine-preventable disease at Shot by Shot