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Oklahoma City Thunder Point Guard Russell Westbrook and NBA Legend Bob Lanier Join Vaccines for Teens Educational Campaign to Urge Local Teens to Take Their Best Shot at Health
Date:12/16/2010

OKLAHOMA CITY, Dec. 16, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook 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 Oklahoma City 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 Westbrook appeared at Roosevelt Middle School in Oklahoma City 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 Oklahoma City 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 Roosevelt Middle School and for teens throughout the Oklahoma City area," said Westbrook.  "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 Oklahoma CityAlthough 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 Oklahoma, where less than half of teens between 13 and 17 years of age have been vaccinated agains
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SOURCE Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine
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