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Vaccines for Tweens

Most vaccines go to babies and toddlers, but tweens need some, too. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends kids around 11 or 12 get:

A new booster shot for pertussis, or whooping cough. The new FDA nod lets the existing tetanus-diphtheria booster add protection against pertussis. That not only shields adolescents from this debilitating disease but also prevents them from spreading it to babies in the household, says Louis Cooper, M.D., professor emeritus of pediatrics at Columbia University in New York City. (Babies get a pertussis vaccine, but they're not fully protected until age 1.)

A new vaccine for meningitis, an infection, though rare, that can have serious consequences and is fatal in more than one in ten cases.

Expected by year's end: a vaccine for the human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes genital warts and can lead to cervical cancer. It, too, will be recommended for tweens. "Although HPV is sexually transmitted, it makes sense to vaccinate children against it well before they become sexually active," says Dr. Cooper.

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