Keep Your Preteens Healthy and in School! Immunize!
NOTE: This original post has been updated 7/24/2017.
With such busy schedules nowadays, many parents are unaware of the changes to the vaccine schedule. One of the best ways to keep your preteen healthy is with a visit to the pediatrician. Preteens should have their immunization record checked to see if they are missing important shots that will protect them from dangerous diseases like meningitis and pertussis (whooping cough).
You may have heard that the Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) vaccine is now required for all incoming 7th graders before they start the school year. What you may not be aware of is that immunity from some vaccines can decrease over time, so preteens need booster doses to stay protected. This is also the age where close contact with one another occurs, more often during sports and other activities; and sharing water, sports drinks, and utensils puts them at greater risk of catching diseases like meningitis.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all 11- and 12-year-olds receive the Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough), Meningococcal, HPV (2 dose series if given at this age) and an annual flu vaccine.
I have unfortunately seen these diseases and their devastating consequences up close, making me even more passionate about protecting my patients. Please make it a goal to schedule a visit with your pediatrician, get a well child exam, get your kids up to date on their vaccines, and help spread the word!!
For more information or questions about these vaccines contact your pediatrician and visit these helpful websites: