Deadline extended for vaccine program
The deadline to register for IZ Xtreme – a program that provides free vaccines to sixth and seventh graders at their schools – has been extended until Friday.
Nurses from the El Dorado County Public Health Department, who launched the campaign with local school districts, sent home informational packets two weeks ago to parents of more than 5,000 children.
All vaccines offered at no cost through IZ Xtreme are recommended for students 11-12 year olds by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They include new vaccines that protect against meningitis, whooping cough and human papillomavirus. The nasal spray vaccine against this year’s strains of the flu will also be provided.
According to County Immunization Coordinator Cathy Dunbar, the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, which protects against cervical cancer and is targeted for middle school-aged girls, is drawing the biggest response from parents so far.
“Parents often don’t know that the HPV immunization requires three doses to be effective and is quite expensive at the doctor’s office,” Dunbar said.
Participation in IZ Xtreme is voluntary, but written parent permission is required. Parents of pre-teens can choose to have their children receive all, some or no vaccines.
Vaccines offered through IZ Xtreme protect against six serious infectious diseases: meningococcal disease, pertussis (whooping cough), diphtheria, tetanus, human papillomavirus infection and influenza.
For more information, see http://www.co.el-dorado.ca.us/publichealth or call (530) 621-6112 or (530) 573-3157.