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Vaccine Boosters Required, Recommended for Adolescents

For release: Immediate    Apr. 5, 2011
Contact: Amy Caruso, 919-707-5555

RALEIGH - Vaccines aren’t just for infants; adolescents and adults need to be protected against disease as well. April is Adolescent Immunization Awareness Month in North Carolina, and the N.C. Division of Public Health is reminding parents to protect their teens and pre-teens by bringing them up to date on required and recommended vaccinations.

“Vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective public health tools available for preventing disease and death,” State Health Director Dr. Jeff Engel said. “Parents should start thinking about immunizations now, so young people will be protected when they start the new school year.”

Most vaccines are required when a child enters school for the first time in kindergarten. State law also requires a dose of Tdap vaccine for all rising 6th graders or those who will reach 12 years of age on or after August 1. Children who have had a tetanus shot within the past five years may be exempt from the requirement.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recommends that older children receive a booster shot of varicella (chicken pox) vaccine, as well as vaccinations against meningitis, HPV, hepatitis A and influenza.

During the 2010-2011 flu season, the state has recorded eight deaths from flu among school-aged children.

“Vaccines not only help protect those who receive them, but they also protect entire communities by preventing and reducing the spread of infectious diseases,” Engel said.

Information about required vaccines for children and adults can be found at along with a list of some of the Immunization Month Activities around the state.
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