ATLANTA -- As children approach their teen years, parents often worry about how to protect them from new risks and potential dangers. Experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today launched a campaign to educate parents about one of the things they can do to protect their children at 11 and 12 years of age and for years to come: make sure they are vaccinated against serious, sometimes life-threatening diseases such as meningitis, tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough, and cervical cancer.
The CDC's Preteen Vaccine campaign is designed to inform parents, caregivers, family physicians and pediatricians about CDC's new vaccination recommendations for 11- and 12-year-olds. The three preteen vaccines include MCV4, which protects against meningitis and its complications; Tdap, which is a booster against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis or "whooping cough," and for girls, the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, which protects against HPVs that are the most common causes of cervical cancer.
The campaign's launch coincides with National Immunization Awareness Month in August.
A new Web site, http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/preteen/ provides easy-to-understand, downloadable educational materials in English and Spanish for parents and healthcare providers about the vaccines and the diseases they prevent.
"Many parents do not realize that some childhood vaccines, such as those for tetanus and whooping cough, wear off over time and, as they get older, young people are at risk of exposure to different diseases at school, camp or in other new situations," said Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of CDC's
Research shows that preteens generally do not get preventive healthcare, visiting the doctor only when they are sick. One goal of this campaign is to encourage parents to take their preteens in for the recommended 11- or 12- year-old check-up, which is endorsed by the American Academy for Pediatrics, and the
Dr. Renee Jenkins, president-elect of the
CDC's preteen vaccine recommendations are supported by the American
Pertussis, or whooping cough, is one of the most common respiratory diseases in American teens. It causes a prolonged cough that can last weeks or months and can result in pneumonia or hospitalization. Reported pertussis cases in the
Meningococcal infections can be very serious, and can lead to meningitis and even death. These infections are not very common an estimated 1,400 to 2,800 cases occur in the
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention