Preteen Vaccine Week: March 4-8, 2024

The County of San Diego urges parents to make sure their preteens (11-12 year old's) are immunized against serious diseases, such as COVID-19, pertussis (whooping cough), Human Papillomavirus (HPV), meningitis, and influenza (flu).

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!

California State Immunization Requirements for Schools 

  • It is required by California State Law to have preteens up to date with their immunizations before starting 7th grade. 
  • Visit ShotsForSchool for updates about COVID-19 vaccine requirements for school. 

Vaccine Schedule


On This Page—Learn About: 
Promotional Materials | Vaccines Your Preeteen Needs | Resources

Materials are available for download to help promote Preteen Vaccine Week.


Preteens need vaccines to prevent serious diseases.
Are your kids vaccinated?




Many kids missed out on routine vaccines during the pandemic. Make sure your preteen isn’t one of them! Preteen vaccines protect against serious diseases and cancer. #PreteenVaxCA


COVID vaccines prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death. Make sure your preteen has gotten the updated (bivalent) COVID booster! 

Call your doctor or visit to make an appointment. #PreteenVaxCA #BeCOVIDSafe


All incoming 7th graders in California must show proof of Tdap vaccination and 2 doses of chickenpox before entry. Make sure your student is ready for school by scheduling their preteen vaccine appointment today! #PreteenVaxCA


A lot of parents never find out where their children picked up bacterial meningitis; just sharing a soda might bring infection. Shield your precious preteen with the MenACWY vaccine. #PreteenVaxCA

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, Varicella, or HepB. Ask your health care provider if your child is up to date on their vaccines. 


Vaccination is one of the most important tools to end the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 vaccines are available for children. Visit the COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility webpage for more information 

For local updates, visit

HPV is a group of more than 150 viruses that can make you sick. These common viruses cause 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 person's 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 bacterium that often causes severe illness, including infections of the brain or spinal cord (meningitis) or infections of the bloodstream. The most common symptoms include sudden fever, headache, or stiff neck; other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, eyes being more sensitive to light, and confusion.

Meningococcal disease can be treated with antibiotics, but quick medical attention is very important, 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 meningococcal 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 seasons 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 additional flu posters, flyers, videos, and social media materials.

California Immunization Resources

  • Preteen Vaccine Week — CDPH provides information and materials for schools, providers, and the media to promote preteen doctor visits during Preteen Vaccine Week.
  • Immunization Branch  — Find school vaccine requirements, recommended vaccines, state outbreaks, program information and additional California 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

For more information or to request materials,
contact the San Diego Immunization Unit via e-mail or call us at (866) 358-2966.