SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - The Santa Barbara County Department of Public Health has designated this week as "Preteen Vaccine Week."
From March 3-5, parents and teens are encouraged to contact their doctors to schedule a visit and see which vaccines are recommended for them.
In a press release issued to KEYT, public health officials said preteens need vaccines against whooping cough (Tdap), HPV, and meningitis (MenACWY), when they are 11 and 12 years old. Incoming 7th graders will have provide proof of having received the whooping cough shot and, beginning in the upcoming school year, two doses of chickenpox vaccine before starting the new school year. Additional meningitis vaccines are recommended when teens are 16 years old.
Flu vaccine is also recommended for everyone 6 months or older, public health officials said.
The goal of Preteen Vaccine Week is "protecting kids 11 and 12 against dangerous vaccine-preventable diseases."
Parents can contact their health care provider or local health department for information about the Vaccines for Children Program (VFC), which provides free vaccines to eligible kids. For more information, please visit GetImmunizedCA.org.