Diseases last a lot longer than the discomfort of a trip to the doctor and a shot. That’s why Cobb & Douglas Public Health (CDPH) recommends parents make an appointment to have their preteens and teens vaccinated as soon as possible.
In an effort to protect every adult and child, the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) established Georgia Preteen Vaccine Awareness Week, observed March 12-16, 2018, to serve as a reminder for parents to talk with their preteens and teens about getting immunized against vaccine-preventable diseases.
“Preteens are at an age where they are becoming more aware about their health and the impact their decisions make on their physical and mental wellbeing,” said Priti Kolhe, Director of Immunizations at Cobb & Douglas Public Health. “Parents can help their preteens make health a priority by teaching them to make appointments to visit the doctor every year for a check-up, and get their annual vaccines to reduce the risk of preventable diseases.”
According to the Georgia Department of Public Health Rule (511-2-2), all students born on or after January 1, 2002, entering or transferring into seventh grade and any “new entrant” into eighth -12th grades in Georgia need proof of an adolescent pertussis (whooping cough) booster vaccination (called “Tdap”) AND an adolescent meningococcal vaccination (MenACWY). This law affects all public and private schools including, but not limited to, charter schools, community schools, juvenile court schools and other alternative school settings (excluding homeschool).
Vaccines are the best defense we have against serious, preventable and sometimes deadly contagious diseases. They help avoid expensive therapies and hospitalization needed to treat infectious diseases like influenza and meningitis. Immunizations also reduce absences both at school and after school activities and decrease the spread of illness at home, school and the community.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) currently recommends the following vaccines for preteens and teens:
- Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis (Tdap)
- Influenza (flu)
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
- Meningococcal Disease (MenACWY)
Georgia Preteen Vaccine Awareness Week is an opportunity to raise awareness through schools, health care providers and the media regarding preteen immunizations, particularly Georgia’s pertussis and meningococcal requirements for incoming seventh-grade students. Speak with your physician today to find out if your preteen is up-to-date.
For more information about immunizations, visit www.cobbanddouglaspublichealth.com/services/child-health-services/immunizations-school-requirements/.
About Cobb & Douglas Public Health
Cobb & Douglas Public Health, along with the Georgia Department of Public Health, has been committed to the mission of “Healthier Lives. Healthier Community.” since 1920. We are dedicated to improving our residents’ quality of life by tracking and preventing the spread of disease, promoting health and safety, providing exceptional medical services, and ensuring that our community is prepared for public health emergencies. For more information, visit www.cobbanddouglaspublichealth.org.