Staff Report

To help protect adolescents against dangerous diseases, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department is joining with the California Department of Public Health in recognizing Feb. 11th – 17th as Preteen Vaccine Week.

Vaccines offer safe and effective protection from infectious diseases. By staying up-to-date on the recommended vaccinations, people can protect themselves, their families, and their communities from serious, life-threatening illnesses. If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to ask your doctor about vaccines recommended for your child. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the California Department of Public Health recommend your son or daughter receive the following vaccines:

• Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
HPV vaccine is safe, effective, and can protect against infection with the types of HPV that can cause certain cancers.

• Pertussis
Whooping cough (pertussis) can cause severe coughing spells. Preteens suffering from whooping cough can be hospitalized and miss weeks of school. Under state law, all incoming 7th grade students will need proof of a Tdap booster shot.

• Meningococcal
Bacterial meningitis is a very serious infection that can cause brain damage, arm and leg amputations, kidney damage, and death. That’s why it’s crucial for all preteens to get one shot of quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine at 11 or 12 years of age and a booster at age 16.

• Influenza
Influenza is widespread in California. Everyone 6 months of age and older needs to be immunized against influenza each year.

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