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The whooping cough vaccine Boostrix is part of the state-required series of Tdap shots for all California seventh graders before they can start school. The state's "preeteen Vaccine Week" begins Sunday. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Health officials are urging parents of the more than one million 11-and 12-year-old middle school students to get them vaccinated during California's "Preteen Vaccine Week," which begins Sunday.
State law requires parents of seventh graders to show school administrators proof of adolescent “Tdap” immunizations, which include vaccinations for tetanus, diphtheria and accellular pertussis, commonly known as “whooping cough."
Public health officials are recommending that parents with students entering middle school in 2013 get those shots for their children now – both to protect the youngsters from those illnesses and to avoid any delays in starting school next fall.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has released this list of preteen immunications recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- One dose of meningococcal vaccine, followed by a booster dose at 16 years of age;
- One dose of Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis) vaccine;
- An annual seasonal influenza vaccine;
- Three doses of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, which is recommendedfor both boys and girls to prevent certain types of cancer.
And while you’re at it, get a flu shot for your children six months of age and older, says LA County Director of Public Health and Health Officer, Jonathan E. Fielding. Flu season is still going strong, he says, and could last until spring.
The CDC offers more information about preteen vaccinations on its website.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is providing information about free and reduced-cost vaccinations on its website.