World Immunization Week is held each year at the end of April to promote the use of life-saving vaccines for all children – particularly those who are consistently excluded. This event is observed by UNICEF, immunization partners, governments and civil society organizations around the world. World Immunization Week runs from April 24-30, 2017.
Immunization prevents an estimated 2 to 3 million deaths every year from diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), and measles. However, an additional 1.5 million deaths could be avoided if global vaccination coverage improves.
“Vaccines offer safe and effective protection from infectious diseases. By staying up-to-date on the recommended vaccinations, people can protect themselves, their families, and their communities from serious, life-threatening illnesses,” said Donald B. Hufford, M.D., WHA’s Chief Medical Officer.
In California, preteens need vaccines against whooping cough (Tdap), meningitis (MenACWY), and HPV when they are 11-12 years old. Incoming 7th graders must also provide proof of having received the whooping cough shot before starting school. A booster dose of MenACWY is recommended when teens are 16 years old. In addition, flu vaccine is recommended for everyone 6 months or older – not just preteens and teens.
Dr. Hufford reminds parents, “If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to ask your doctor about the three vaccines recommended for your child at their preteen visit, plus a flu shot every year.”
For more information about recommended schedules for immunizations, visit mywha.org/teenIZ.