Get your teen vaccinated for free on Tuesday
2010-05-03 · By Editor
Vaccines prevent life-threatening disease. The Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that young adults receive vaccines to help prevent disease in adulthood. For three years the City of Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services has worked with the Long Beach Unified School District and CalState,Long Beach School of Nursing to affordably provide the recommended vaccines for teens and pre-teens.
Youth, between the ages of 11 and 18, will be able to receive the Tdap, Meningitis and HPV vaccines for free on Tuesday, May 4, 2010 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Long Beach Health Department, 2525 Grand Avenue, Long Beach. No appointment is needed. A parent or guardian must attend with children under 18. Please bring your child’s immunization records. H1N1 flu vaccine will also be available for people of all ages.
“Protecting our young adults from disease is important to help them be lifelong learners and excel in being good residents of the City,” said Patrick O’Donnell, Long Beach City Councilmember. The CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Society for Adolescent Medicine (SAM), and the Long Beach Health Department recommends the following vaccines for teens and pre-teens beginning at age 11:
Tetanus and pertussis (Tdap) vaccine: This is an improved tetanus booster that now contains a dose of pertussis vaccine to protect children from whooping cough. Whooping cough is highly contagious and spreads easily from teens and adults to children who are too young to be fully protected by vaccine. Whooping cough can lead to a cough so severe that it causes vomiting or broken ribs. Rarely, whooping cough can be fatal.
Meningococcal congugate vaccine (MCV4): Invasive meningococcal disease is a serious illness that can infect the blood and cause meningitis, which can be a fatal disease. Proof of this vaccine is often required for college freshman who reside in dorms.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine: The HPV vaccine is a three-shot series given over a period of six months that protects against four types of human papillomavirus virus that are known to cause genital warts and cervical cancer. Originally only given to girls, HPV was approved and recommended for use in boys this year.
These vaccines are now part of comprehensive health care that physicians recommend for their patients between the ages of 11 and 12, but many older teens missed that opportunity and are not up-to-date with these immunizations.
“Adolescent vaccines were not available or routinely recommended when today’s high school students were 11 or 12 years old,” said Long Beach City Health Officer Dr. Helene Calvet. “HPV wasn’t even available for boys until this year.” The Health Department has received designated state and federal funding to put extra effort into getting older teens immunized while they are still eligible to receive free or low-cost vaccines through the Federally funded Vaccines For Children (VFC) Program.
The Long Beach Health Department Immunization Clinic also offers these and other vaccines all year long for infants and children through the age of 18 at a cost of $15.50 per visit. To schedule an appointment at the Immunization Clinic call 562.570.4221. For more information about teen vaccines, visit http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/spec-grps/preteens-adol.htm.