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Montana Immunization Program launches multi-year adolescent vaccination campaign

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 14, 2016

Contact:  Jon Ebelt, Public Information Officer, DPHHS, (406) 444-0936

                Chuck Council, Communications Specialist, DPHHS, (406) 444-4391

 

Montana Immunization Program launches multi-year adolescent vaccination campaign

 

The Montana Immunization Program and its partners have launched a multi-year campaign called MT TeenVax that aims to promote teen vaccines.

This campaign will focus on increasing awareness about teen vaccines by providing resources and information to healthcare professionals, parents, and teens. A new teen vaccine webpage has been created to highlight the importance of teen vaccines and will be the central place for information, with links to frequently asked questions and other detailed information on teen vaccines.

“Montana continues to improve coverage levels for adolescent vaccines, and we’re hoping this program will help us improve even more,” said Bekki Wehner, Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) Immunization Program Manager. “The MT TeenVax campaign will help highlight the importance of adolescent vaccines statewide.”

The recommended vaccines for teens are tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (Tdap), the human papillomavirus (HPV) series, and the start of the meningococcal (MCV4). These vaccines are routinely administered at age 11-12 years and catch up for those age 13 years and older who missed vaccination. Influenza, “the flu” vaccine, is recommended every year. “These vaccines are a safe and an effective way to help teens start a healthy adulthood,” Wehner said.

To help further increase awareness about the importance of these vaccines, the Immunization Program is also launching the MT TeenVax Challenge.

The Challenge is in partnership with the Montana Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Montana Academy of Family Physicians and the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana Care Van program.

This Challenge is an opportunity for parents/guardians of 11-17 year olds to enter their teen’s name into a drawing for a $50 Amazon gift card if they have received at least one Tdap, one MCV4, and one HPV.  At least one gift card per county will be given away. Parents/guardians can enter by going to the DPHHS website at www.immunization.mt.gov. On the MT TeenVax page, look for the blue ‘Click Here’ icon. The deadline to enter is December 2, 2016.

“Now is a great time to check your child’s immunization record and see if they have received all the recommended vaccines,” said Wehner. “If you have questions about any of the vaccines, talk to your healthcare provider.”

For more information about adolescent vaccines and the Challenge, go to www.immunization.mt.gov.