CDC's 'Preteen Vaccine' Campaign Aimed at Parents

It explains what shots are needed for 11- and 12-year-olds

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WEDNESDAY, Aug. 1, 2007 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. health officials are urging parents to make sure their 11- and 12-year-old children are vaccinated against meningitis, tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough, and cervical cancer, in a new campaign launched Wednesday.

Experts at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say the Preteen Vaccine campaign informs parents, caregivers, family doctors, and pediatricians about new CDC vaccination recommendations for children ages 11 and 12.

The CDC recommends MCV4, which protects against meningitis and its complications and Tdap, a booster against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough).

In addition, girls should receive the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine, which protects against the most common types of cervical cancer, the CDC said.

"Many parents do not realize that some childhood vaccines, such as those for tetanus and whooping cough, wear off over time and, as they get older, young people are at risk of exposure to different diseases at school, camp or in other new situations," Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said in a prepared statement.

The launch of the Preteen Vaccine campaign coincides with National Immunization Awareness Month in August. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), a partner with the CDC in the Preteen Vaccine campaign, says that parents should also schedule a routine checkup for children ages 11 and 12.

"The preteen checkup is an important time to make sure children are also caught up on important childhood immunizations such as chickenpox, hepatitis B and measles-mumps-rubella (MMR). Depending on their health and medical history, some preteens may require additional vaccines," AAP President-Elect Dr. Renee Jenkins said in a prepared statement.

More information

Here's where you can find the new CDC Web site about preteen and adolescent vaccinations.

SOURCE: American Academy of Pediatrics, news release, Aug. 1, 2007


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