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Tulsa Shock Guard Andrea Riley and NBA Legend Bob Lanier Join Vaccines for Teens Educational Campaign to Urge Local Teens to Take Their Best Shot at Health
Date:5/4/2011

ant community health issue. In fact, the Oklahoma State Department of Health recently updated the state immunization requirements.  Beginning this fall, students entering seventh grade will be required to receive a booster shot of the Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis) vaccine to help protect against whooping cough.

Since January 1, 2010, 15 cases of meningococcal invasive disease were reported in Oklahoma, reinforcing that it is a crucial time for Tulsa parents to have their children vaccinated against these potentially deadly diseases.  With summer just around the corner, parents also need to know meningococcal disease can spread from person to person through common summer activities, such as sharing water bottles or eating utensils and living in close quarters at camp.

In addition, since September 1, 2010, nearly 1,000 cases of influenza-associated hospitalizations have been reported in Oklahoma and forty-eight percent of hospitalizations have occurred among children 18 years of age or younger.  Between 19,481 and 77,925 Tulsa area residents suffer from influenza annually, yet immunization rates fall short each year.

"With teens in such close contact in classrooms and on school sports teams, these infectious diseases can spread easily from student to student," said Philip J. Rettig, MD of the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine and Professor of Pediatrics, The Children's Hospital at Oklahoma University Medical Center. "Vaccination is a safe and effective way to help teens stay protected, yet immunization rates remain low in this population."

Teens and their parents can learn more about risk factors for getting sick with vaccine-preventable diseases, and the benefits of vaccination, by visiting www.vaccinesforteens.net.  

About Vaccine-preventable Adolescent Diseases Immunization is critically important for adolescents because they are at r
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SOURCE Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine
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