San Diego County health officials recommend preteen and teen vaccinations


From County Reports

Vaccinations don’t stop when children reach kindergarten. Preteens and adolescents also need to be up-to-date on them to stay healthy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that adolescents get the annual flu shot, a pertussis booster (Tdap), and vaccines for meningococcal disease, human papillomavirus (HPV), and chickenpox (if needed.) Yet only half of the 300,000 adolescents in our region have received all recommended vaccines.

Scheduling a preteen preventive health visit is a great way to make sure older youth and teens get their recommended vaccines. This can also be done as part of a sports physical or other medical visit.

February 10-16 is

Preteen Vaccine Week

and the County Health and Human Services Agency is encouraging parents to immunize their adolescent children.

“These diseases can have serious and severe complications, including death in some cases, but they are preventable,” said

Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “Vaccinating your children is the best line of defense.”

The CDC recommends these vaccines and doses at the ages below:

              VaccineAgeDosesFlu (annually)6 months and older1-2 (depends on prior vaccination history)HPV11 – 12 years3Pertussis (Tdap)11 – 12 year and older1Meningococcal disease11 – 18 years2Chickenpox13 years and older2

              The vaccines are available at physician offices, community clinics, and many retail pharmacies. People without medical insurance can get vaccinated at one of the seven County Public Health Centers.

              Everyone 6 months and older should receive an annual flu shot. Two doses of flu vaccine are recommended for children 8 years and younger who are receiving it for the first time. Two doses of chickenpox vaccine are recommended for unvaccinated adolescents who have not had the disease.

              Parents should also be aware that all 7


              graders need to show proof they received the pertussis booster shot (Tdap) before starting school.

              For more information on vaccines, call the HHSA Immunization Branch at

              (866) 358-2966

              or visit