Many people think that vaccinations are just for kids. But guess what? There are millions of people between the ages of 11 and 19 who need vaccinations to prevent diseases like whooping cough, hepatitis B, hepatitis A, chickenpox, measles, mumps, influenza, meningitis, and human papilloma virus infection.

Getting vaccinated is a lifelong, life-protecting job. Make sure your teen keeps vaccines up to date.

Hepatitis B: Teens need a series of doses of hepatitis B vaccine if they have not already received them.

Measles, Mumps, & Rubella (MMR): Check with their doctor to make sure they’ve had 2 doses of MMR.

Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (Tdap): Teens need a dose of Tdap at age 11–12 years. If they are older and haven’t received it yet, they should get it soon. After that they will need a tetanus-diphtheria (Td) booster dose every ten years.

Polio: If your teen has not completed the series of polio vaccine doses and she/he is not yet 18, she/he should complete them now.

Chickenpox: If teens have not been previously vaccinated and have not had chickenpox, they should get vaccinated against this disease. The vaccine is given as a 2-dose series. Any teenager who was vaccinated as a child with only 1 dose should get a second dose now.

Hepatitis A: Anyone can get infected with hepatitis A. That is why many teens want to be protected by vaccine. Some teens, however, have an even greater chance of getting the disease. These risk factors include traveling outside the United States, babysitting or living with a child who was adopted from a foreign country within the last 60 days, being a male who has sex with other males, using illegal drugs, or having a clotting factor disorder or chronic liver disease. Talk to your healthcare provider about this 2-dose series of shots.

Papilloma Virus ( HPV): All adolescents and teens should get a series of 3 doses of HPV vaccine, beginning at age 11–12 years. The vaccine protects against HPV (the most common cause of cervical cancer) and certain other types of cancers.

Influenza: Every person, beginning at age 6 months and continuing throughout their lifetime, should receive the influenza vaccine every fall or winter. Vaccination is the most effective step you can take to protect your teenager from this serious disease.

Pneumonia: If your teen has a chronic health problem talk to her/his doctor about whether she/he should receive a pneumococcal shot.

Meningitis: All teens ages 11–18 years need a dose of Meningococcal vaccine (MCV4). If they received a dose when they were age 11–15 and are now age 16–18, they need a booster dose. If they are age 19–21 years and are a first-year college student living in a dorm, they need a dose of MCV4 if they never received it before or received a dose when they were younger than 16 years. Check with their doctor.

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