Local lifestyle columnists

Is your preteen health protected today, for the years ahead?

By From page C4 | January 26, 2014

There are more than 1 million 11- and 12- year-olds in California. During these preteen years children become more involved in making decisions about their health. Such decisions set the foundation for a lifetime of healthy choices.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Society for Adolescent Medicine each recommend that all 11- and 12- year-olds receive a preteen checkup.

This doctor’s visit provides a great opportunity for parents, preteens and healthcare providers to discuss the challenges associated with growing up, such as eating right, standing up to peer pressure, drugs and alcohol, as well as discussing other concerns. In addition, parents and caregivers should make sure that their child is up-to-date on recommended immunizations during the preteen checkup. If your child has not yet had a preteen checkup, give him/her a healthy start as an adolescent and make an appointment today.

The recommended immunizations for 11- and 12-year-olds include:

1. Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, which is a three-shot series to protect boys and girls from HPV-related cancers and infections. HPV is a very common virus in the United States. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the U.S. each year, there are about 19,000 women and 8,000 men who develop HPV related cancers. A Papanicolaou test (Pap test) can detect most cases of cervical cancer in women.

Unfortunately, there are no routine screening methods for other HPV-related cancers in women and men, and these cancers can cause pain, suffering and even death. That is why the HPV vaccine, which prevents most HPV-related cancers, is important. It takes six months to complete the three-dose HPV series. The best way to remember to get your child all three shots is to make an appointment for the second and third shots before you leave the doctor’s office after getting the first shot.

2. Tdap vaccine, which helps prevent tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough (Pertussis). In California, all incoming seventh-graders need proof of a Tdap vaccine before starting school.

3. Meningococcal Vaccine (MCV4), to protect against certain types of bacterial meningitis and other related infections. One dose is recommended for all 11- and 12- year- olds and a booster dose is recommended at 16.

4. Seasonal Influenza Vaccine, which protects against serious illness caused by the influenza virus. A yearly influenza vaccine is recommended for everyone 6 months and older.

Preteens may also need to catch up on other immunizations, including the chickenpox (Varicella) vaccine (many older children do not have their second  dose), MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), and Hepatitis B.

Measles, influenza, and whooping cough outbreaks have recently occurred in California schools. Your child could be required to stay home from school if they are not up-to-date with their vaccinations during an outbreak. Your entire family is advised to get a whooping cough booster shot, if you have not already done so, to protect yourself, your family, and the community.

Since you cannot be by your preteen’s side every minute, immunizing your child is one way to protect his/her health today and for the years to come.

Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web site at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/easy-to-read/index.html to view easy-to-read immunization schedules for children 0 to 6, preteens and teens  and adults.

Zosima Inton, RN, PHN is a Immunization Coordinator with Solano Public Health, Solano County Health & Social Services, a partner of Solano Coalition for Better Health.

Zosima Inton


Discussion | 4 comments

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  • http://www.nvic.org/Vaccines-and-Diseases/HPV.aspxJanuary 26, 2014 - 7:33 am

    HPV Vaccine •There are two FDA approved HPV vaccines marketed in the U.S. to prevent HPV infection with several different types of HPV: Gardasil vaccine, which contains 2 of 15 HPV types most associated with cervical cancer and 2 HPV types associated with genital warts and is licensed for use by women and men; and Cervarix vaccine, which contains two HPV types most associated with cervical cancer, and is licensed for use only by women; •Merck’s Gardasil vaccine was studied for less than 2 years in about 1,200 children under age 16 before it was licensed in 2006. Gardasil was not studied in children with health problems or in combination with all other vaccines routinely given to American adolescents. Clinical trials did not use a true placebo to study safety but compared Gardasil against a bioactive aluminum containing placebo; •After Gardasil was licensed and three doses recommended for 11-12 year old girls and teenagers, there were thousands of reports of sudden collapse with unconsciousness within 24 hours, seizures, muscle pain and weakness, disabling fatigue, Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS), facial paralysis, brain inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, blood clots, optic neuritis, multiple sclerosis, strokes, heart and other serious health problems, including death, following receipt of Gardasil vaccine.

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  • ContinuedJanuary 26, 2014 - 7:34 am

    •GlaxoSmithKline’s Cervarix vaccine, which has been used in Europe since 2007 and was licensed in the U.S. in 2009, contains a strong immuni stimulating AS04 adjuvant containing aluminum and MPL, which has never been used in U.S. vaccines. Cervarix was studied for less than 6 years in fewer than 1200 healthy girls under age15 and was not tested with a true placebo but was compared against Hepatitis A vaccine and other childhood vaccines that can cause serious reactions. •Cervarix adverse event reports have been similar to Gardasil adverse event reports. As of Nov. 13, 2013, there were a total of 29,549 vaccine reaction reports made to the federal Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) associated with Gardasil or Cervarix vaccines, including 134 deaths.

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  • http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/pharmaceuticalsandchemicals/10192032/GSK-chief-Andrew-Witty-set-to-admit-China-scam.htmlJanuary 26, 2014 - 7:42 am

    Google...GSK chief Andrew Witty set to admit China 'scam’ The Telegraph....the drug companies primary objective is to sell more and make more money...THE PRIME OBJECTIVE....not the health of the individuals taking the injections.

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  • The MisterJanuary 26, 2014 - 7:38 am

    Yes, stand up to peer pressure and stand up to pressure from authority figures... don't fill your daughter with poisons. Today's vaccinations are not the same formulas that you were vaccinated with. And the newer Gardasil HPV vaccinations are crippling and killing young girls... and they tell you to get this series of shots because your daughter is going to be a s1ut and there's nothing you can do so you'd better get the shot. Now they are pushing this killer vaccine on young boys because, the authorities say, he's going to bonk a s1ut and there's nothing you can do about it. Don't you think it odd that our most prevalent diseases and conditions today didn't hardly exists 100 years ago? It's an absolute fact that polio vaccines in the late 50's and early 60's contained cancer viruses (SV-40 to be precise) and the CDC knew about it. Fact! But you don't care... you'll bend to peer pressure and authoritarian pressure because you'd rather not get yelled at than protect your child. Way to parent!

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