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Miami HEAT Forward Juwan Howard and NBA Legend Bob Lanier Join Vaccines for Teens Educational Campaign to Urge Local Teens to Take Their Best Shot at Health
Date:2/9/2011

MIAMI, Feb. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Miami HEAT forward Juwan Howard and Basketball Hall of Famer Bob Lanier teamed up with NBA Cares and the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM) today to bring Vaccines for Teens to the Miami community. Vaccines for Teens is a national awareness campaign designed to educate teens and their parents about the importance of vaccination against serious and potentially life-threatening diseases.

To tip off the campaign locally, Lanier and Howard appeared at Miami Edison Middle School to urge parents of preteens and teens to discuss adolescent vaccinations with their family physicians.

Teens are at risk for serious infections such as influenza, meningococcal disease (meningitis) and pertussis (whooping cough). The basketball superstars and local community leaders agree that it is now more important than ever to help protect preteens and teens in the Miami area from potentially life-threatening complications of these diseases. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other leading medical groups recommend vaccination for preteens and teens against influenza, meningococcal disease and pertussis.

"Vaccination can help teens grow into healthy adults and should be encouraged for the students at Miami Edison Middle School and for teens throughout the Miami area," said Howard. "In basketball, the best offense is a good defense, and the same holds true for protecting teen health."

Adolescent Immunization is More Important than Ever in MiamiAlthough the CDC and other leading medical groups recommend vaccination against influenza, meningococcal disease and pertussis, immunization rates for prevention of all three diseases among preteens and teens remain unacceptably low in Florida, where only half of teens between 13 and 17 years of age have been vaccinated against meningococcal disease and pertussis.

Adolescent immunization in Miami is a very important co
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SOURCE Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine
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