Milestone: 11 years
At 11 your child will be due for a booster dose of Tetanus, Diphtheria
(Whooping Cough); and in Canterbury, girls will also be due
Papilloma virus (HPV) vaccination. All vaccinations are
available at your doctor's and generally given by the practice
The HPV vaccine helps protect against cervical and other cancers
caused by the Human Papilloma virus and is available to girls from
11 to 19 years of age.
To support general practice, school based programmes are also
available as follows:
- On the West Coast a school based programme is offered at aged
12 (in year 8). The HPV vaccination teams will visit the
majority of the schools on the West Coast. However if you
decide not to have your daughter vaccinated as part of the school
programme, they can still receive the vaccine at general
- In Canterbury a secondary school programme is offered at aged
14 (year 10). Again, this programme is designed to support general
Consent forms for the school based HPV programmes will be sent
to parents at the beginning of Term 1 each year. If you want
your daughter to take advantage of this programme, you need to
return the completed form to the school.
Frequently Asked Questions
- QHow does immunisation work?
Vaccines work by causing the body's immune system to make
protective cells and antibodies. Vaccines contain small parts of
the bacteria or virus or a weakened form such that that they can no
longer cause the disease. If your child comes in contact with one
of the diseases they have been immunised against, existing
antibodies will be there to protect them and their body will be
able to produce more antibodies quickly.
- QAre there any side effects from immunisation?
Some, but not all babies and children may have side effects from
their injections. However, serious side effects such as anaphylaxis
(an extreme allergic reaction) are very rare and for most vaccines,
occur once in around 1 million doses.
Your baby may develop:
- Redness, swelling or tenderness at the site of the
- Be generally irritable and unwell
- Develop a high temperature
Please remember that the most common side effects listed above
are a normal part of the body's immune response and pose a far
lower risk to your child than the actual disease.
If you have any concerns it is important that you contact your
general practice team or local medical centre to discuss.
- QWhy do you need to have booster doses?
Immunity to diseases such as diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough
and polio can reduce over time and therefore a top up is important
to boost your child's level of disease fighting antibodies and help
keep them protected.
- QWhat is Diptheria?
While diphtheria is no longer circulating in New Zealand,
it is important to continue immunising against it until it has been
totally irradicated throughout the world. Diphtheria is serious. It
generally begins with a sore throat and can cause breathing
problems, damage the heart and nervous system and in some cases
- QWhat is Tetanus?
Tetanus is caused by a bacterium that commonly occurs in the
soil. They get into the body through cuts and burns. It is a
disease that affects the nervous system and can lead to muscle
spasms and partial paralysis.
- QWhat is Whooping Cough?
Babies under the age of one year are at the highest risk of
contracting Whooping Cough (pertussis). In babies the disease can
be very serious, even fatal. Symptoms include coughing and choking
leading to breathing difficulties.
- QWhat is cervical cancer?
Cervical cancer develops in the cervix and is caused by a virus
called human papillomavirus (HPV). If not diagnosed early it can be
very serious and can lead to death.