Welcome to the State of California 

Protect Your Children from Preventable Diseases 

Date: 2/13/2012 

Number: 12-007 

Contact: Anita Gore, Heather Bourbeau (916) 440-7259 


February 12-18 is Preteen Vaccine Week

As part of Preteen Vaccine Week, February 12-18, 2012, Dr. Ron Chapman, director of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and state public health officer, is reminding families about the recommended and required immunizations for 11- and 12-year olds, and their proven track record of preventing illness.

“It’s never too early to protect your child,” said Dr. Ron Chapman. “I encourage parents or guardians to schedule a visit with their child’s health care provider so they can be sure they are up-to-date on their vaccinations.” 

For the current school year and beyond, all incoming seventh graders must provide proof that they are currently vaccinated against pertussis (also known as whooping cough) before starting school. This requirement was the result of the 2010 whooping cough epidemic that caused the deaths of 10 infants and sickened 9,000 people in California. 

“This vaccine requirement is saving lives and preventing illness,” Dr. Chapman said. “Parents need to continue this momentum by taking steps now to protect their children and others in their household.”

This year, there is no grace period for the whooping cough vaccination requirement.  Students who cannot provide proof of vaccination will be sent home from school. In addition to whooping cough vaccination, other immunizations recommended for all 11- and 12-year olds include the meningococcal vaccine, a second chickenpox vaccine (if they’ve  never had chickenpox), and the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine series. HPV vaccine protects against several types of cancer, including cervical cancer.
Moreover, influenza often peaks in the late winter or early spring. “It’s not too late to be vaccinated against seasonal flu,” added Chapman. “Everyone older than six months should get the protection provided by an annual flu vaccine. Children as young as two can get vaccinated via nasal spray, instead of a needle.”

If a child does not have health insurance, or is only partially insured, your doctor or your local health department can provide information about the Vaccines for Children Program, which provides free or low-cost vaccines. 

“Protecting the health of California’s youth is one of our most urgent priorities,” said Dr. Chapman. “Preteen Vaccine Week is part of our commitment to ensuring our kids receive all the benefits that immunizations can provide.” 

For more information, visit www.ShotsforSchool.org or www.GetImmunizedCA.org


Last modified on: 2/13/2012 10:19 AM