LOS ANGELES - Preteen Vaccine Week will be observed across the state from February 12-18 this year. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health would like to remind parents, guardians, and health care providers of important changes impacting adolescent immunizations.
"All vaccines recommended for 11-12 year olds should be given as part of routine, preteen doctor visits," said Jonathan E. Fielding, MD, MPH, Director of Public Health and Health Officer. "Seeing their primary care provider at this time helps provide a solid, healthy foundation for a child during some of their most important formative years. It is also an excellent opportunity to discuss other preventive practices, such as healthy diet and exercise, so an adolescent grows into a healthy, informed teen."
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.
In previous years, the CDC recommended the HPV vaccine only for girls age 11-12 years. The vaccine is now also recommended for boys in the same age group. Children over the age of 12 who may not have received vaccine or who may have missed doses of HPV vaccine may get caught up at any time.
Recommendations for older teenagers include a second dose of meningococcal vaccine given between 16 and 18 years of age. Everyone, six months of age and older and medically eligible, should receive a seasonal influenza vaccine.
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 all future school years, only students entering, advancing, or transferring into 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 January 1, 2012, allows any minor 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 receipt of HPV and Hepatitis B vaccines.
Resources for Vaccinations
All residents are encouraged to contact their regular health care provider for all recommended vaccines. Those who do not have a regular health care provider or health insurance coverage for vaccines can call the LA 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:
- www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/immunize/Pages/PreteenVaccineW eek/aspx
The Immunization Coalition of Los Angeles County (ICLAC), a public/private partnership of immunization stakeholders, has joined Public Health in promoting adolescent immunizations during Preteen Vaccine Week. Partners of ICLAC promote adolescent immunizations by providing parents and health care providers with vaccine information, and through encouraging teachers to talk about adolescent immunizations through interactive, educational activities in the classroom. More information on the coalition can be found on www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/ip/ICLAC.
The Department of Public Health is committed to protecting and improving the health of the nearly 10 million residents of Los Angeles County. Through a variety of programs, community partnerships and services, Public Health oversees environmental health, disease control, and community and family health. Public Health comprises nearly 4,000 employees and has an annual budget exceeding $750 million. To learn more about Public Health and the work we do please visit www.publichealth.lacounty.gov, visit our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/lapublichealth, find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lapublichealth, or follow us on Twitter: LAPublicHealth.