Annual Notice about Recommended Vaccinations for Grades 6-12:
Dear Parent and/or Guardian,
The purpose of this letter is to inform you of two vaccines which are recommended for the age group of your child. The meningococcal conjugate vaccine and human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine are both recommended for adolescents starting at age 11.
Both meningococcal and HPV exposures cause serious and often deadly consequences. Meningococcal disease is a serious infection of the brain (meningitis) and blood. Fortunately, this life-threatening infection is rare -- only about 30-60 people are infected each year in Washington, with 1-8 deaths. Adolescents and young adults are more likely to get meningococcal disease, especially those living in group settings, like college dorms.
The meningococcal conjugate vaccine protects against meningococcal disease and meningitis, very serious illnesses where death can occur in as little as a few hours. This vaccine is administered in two doses. The first dose is administered starting at age 11 or 12. A second dose is recommended for teens at age 16 to continue complete protection against meningococcal meningitis.
HPV is a very common virus spread through genital contact. Up to 75 percent of HPV infections occur among people 15-24 years old. There are many types of HPV. Some types can cause cervical cancer or genital warts, with two types of HPV causing 75 percent of cervical cancer in women. Both women and men can get HPV and easily spread it to others without knowing they have it. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) states “93% of cervical cancer can be prevented through screening and HPV vaccination.”
The HPV vaccine protects against cancers and other diseases caused by HPV infection. Both boys and girls should receive three doses of HPV vaccine to protect against these serious diseases. If they complete the series before age 14, they may only need two doses. Your preteen/teen should receive the second dose a month or two after the first dose, and the third dose six months after the first dose.
I urge you strongly to consider these vaccines or at the very least have a conversation with your child’s healthcare provider about these recommendations. If you would like to research the vaccines, I recommend visiting the following websites for more information:
If you have questions about these vaccines or diseases, please do not hesitate to contact Special Services at 360-277-2111.