The County of San Diego urges parents to make sure their preteens
(11-12 year olds) are immunized against serious diseases, such as
pertussis (whooping cough), Human Papillomavirus (HPV), meningitis,
An important focus of Preteen Vaccine Week is increasing immunization rates against Human Papillomavirus (HPV). There are two types of HPV vaccines and both are highly effective at preventing the common types of HPV that can lead to certain types of cancer, including cervical cancer, mouth, and throat cancers later in life.
Make sure your children are vaccinated so that they are ready for school! We recommend getting vaccinated now rather than later so that you don't have to wait in those long vaccination lines!
See our Preeteen Vaccine Week Toolkit to help you communicate the importance of preteen vaccines and promote Preteen Vaccine Week.
California State Immunization Requirments for Schools
It is required by California State Law to have preteens up to date with their immunizations before starting 7th grade.
Vaccines and what diseases they protect against
Your preteen may also need to catch up on other vaccines they may have missed such as MMR, Vericella, or HepB. Ask your health care provider if your child is up to date on their vaccines.
HPV is a group of more than 150 viruses that can make you really sick. These common viruses causes illnesses in 14 million people each year. HPV infections are spread through intimate skin-to-skin contact and can lead to certain types of cancers. Every year in the United States, HPV causes 36,000 cases of cancer in men and women.
The HPV vaccine helps prevent certain cancers and infections. The HPV vaccine is recommended for both boys and girls at 9-12 years of age. It’s important to get this vaccine during the preteen years because the body's natural defense system responds better to the vaccine at these ages. A series of 2 or 3 doses is recommended for girls and boys to help protect them.
Pertussis (whooping cough) is a common
disease that causes a respiratory infection, a complication that
affects a persons nose and throats. It can cause severe coughing
spells that lead to vomiting or broken ribs. Preteens suffering from
whooping cough can be hospitalized and miss weeks of school. Older
children and adults can accidentally spread pertussis to babies who
are too young to get a vaccine.
There are 2 vaccines that help protect children against whooping cough: DTaP and Tdap. Both also protect against diphtheria (another respiratory disease) and tetanus (also known as "lock jaw". Tdap is approved for pre-teen use starting at age 11. Preteens need one dose of the Tdap vaccine. This vaccine does not offer lifetime protection, people will need to get a "booster" shot every 10 years, including adults.
Meningococcal disease is caused by a bacteria that often causes severe illness, inlcuding infections of the brain or spinal cord (meningitis) or infections of the bloodstream. The most common sypmprtoms include sudden fever, headache, or stiff neck; other sypmtoms include nausea, vomiting, eyes being more sensitive to light, and confusion.
Meningococal disease can be treated with antibiotics, but quick medical attention is very improtant, 10% of teens who get the disease die, and another 15% suffer long-term disability such as loss of limbs, deafness, problems with their nervous system, or brain damage.
Vaccines can help keep your preteen from getting seriously ill from the meningococcal bacteria and are the best defense against menigococcal disease.
There are 2 types of meningococcal vaccines available in the United States that prevent the most common causes of meningococcal disease. Talk to your health care provider for more information about which vaccine your preteen needs.
Influenza or the flu is a serious illness caused by the influenza virus. It causes problems in your nose, upper airways, throat and lungs. The flu can spread from person to person very easily and can cause greater problems for people that have other health issues.
Common symptoms that people with the flu may experience include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headache, muscle or body aches, tiredness, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Everyone 6 months of age and older should get an influenza (flu) vaccine every year during flu season. Getting your flu vaccine decreases your risk of getting seriously ill and being hospitalized. Flu season last through the spring season, so it is not too late to get your flu shot!
San Diego County Resources
- Clinic Locations — Find where to get your vaccines.
- Immunizations Unit — Stay up to date with the
San Diego County Immunization website.
- Flu Resources - Find additonal flu posters, flyers, videos and social media matierals.
California Immunization Resources
- Preteen Vaccine Week — CDPH provides information and materials for schools, providers, and the media to promote preteen doctor vists during Preteen Vaccine Week.
- Immunization Branch — Find school vaccine requirements, recommended vaccines, state outbreaks, program information and additional Calfornia state resources.
- 7th Grade Vaccine Requirements — Make sure your preteen is vaccinated before entering 7th grade; it is a California law to be up to date with your vaccinations.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Resources
- Vaccines at 11-12 Years — Learn about the vaccines 11 and 12 year olds need and why vaccinations are important.
- Preteen Vaccine Schedule (PDF)— See the immunization schedule for preteens ages 7-18.
- Drop-In Article/Blog Post — Article or Blog post that you can use for a variety of publications.
- E-mail Message — Use this e-mail message to promote vaccines during Preteen Vaccine Week.
- Social Media Messages — Social media messages to promote Preteen Vaccine Week through Twitter and Facebook.
- Individuals and Organizations — A list of activities that people and organizations can participate in to promote Preteen Vaccine Week.
- Providers — Don't miss an opportunity to get your preteen patients vaccinated; this list offers suggestions to help you promote preteen vaccines.