As new parents, we are always eager to get our children vaccinated to protect them from life-threatening diseases. However, as our children grow into adolescence, we tend to focus less on their immunizations and instead solely on their physical well-being.
But did you know that vaccines are just as important during adolescence as they are in early childhood? The truth is that keeping your teenager’s immunizations up-to-date is vital to their overall health and wellness.
Let’s talk about common vaccines recommended for teenagers and the importance of adolescent immunizations.
Common Adolescent Immunizations
According to the CDC, teenagers should get vaccinations for the following diseases.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is responsible for approximately 90% of cervical cancer cases and is also linked to anal and penile cancers.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HPV vaccines are recommended for both males and females aged 11 to 12. Vaccines are given in two shots, spaced six to twelve months apart.
Catch-up vaccinations are also available for males and females up to age 26.
The Tdap vaccine is an essential shot for protecting against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis, commonly referred to as whooping cough. Adolescents aged 11-12 should receive the Tdap vaccine, with a booster shot recommended every ten years.
Td (tetanus and diphtheria) are recommended for adolescents who did not receive the Tdap vaccine as a preteen or teenager and have not yet received a Td booster dose.
Meningococcal disease is a severe illness caused by bacteria, and it can lead to meningitis, sepsis, and other complications.
Adolescents aged 11-12 should receive the meningococcal conjugate vaccine, with a booster recommended at 16 years of age. College students are at an increased risk of meningococcal disease, and it is recommended that they receive a second dose if they receive their first dose before age 16 and are entering college.
The flu is an infectious respiratory illness that can have severe complications, leading to hospitalization and even death. Adolescents should receive a flu vaccine every year by the end of October.
The influenza vaccine is available in a shot or nasal spray. The nasal spray is not recommended for persons with certain medical conditions or pregnant women.
MenB (meningococcal serogroup B) is a vaccine recommended for individuals aged 16-18. MenB has been known to cause outbreaks on college campuses and is a severe illness with symptoms like fever, headache, and rash.
The MenB vaccine is two doses given one month apart and can be given to individuals who previously received the meningococcal conjugate vaccine.
Importance of Keeping Adolescent Immunizations Up-to-Date
Adolescents are still at risk for a variety of vaccine-preventable diseases, including measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, meningitis, and human papillomavirus (HPV). In fact, some of these diseases can be more severe or even fatal in adolescents than in younger children. This is why it’s essential to keep your teen’s vaccinations up-to-date.
Furthermore, adolescent vaccination is not just about protecting your child; it’s also about safeguarding public health. When a population of people is vaccinated, it creates herd immunity.
This means that even those who are not vaccinated are less likely to come into contact with the disease because others around them are protected. By getting your teen vaccinated against these illnesses, you’re helping to prevent the spread of these diseases to others.
Another reason to keep your teen’s vaccines up-to-date is for school attendance. Most states require proof of immunization for students to attend school, and many colleges and universities require certain vaccines as well.
It’s essential to stay on top of these requirements to ensure your child doesn’t miss out on educational opportunities.
Adolescent Medicine in Central and South Florida
Immunization is not a one-time process but is an ongoing process that can save lives. Adolescents might believe they are too old for vaccinations, but vaccines remain essential for their health and well-being.
Are you wondering which vaccines are right for your teenager? Contact our adolescent medicine providers here at Premier Medical Group. Our healthcare provider can check your adolescent’s vaccination status and determine which vaccines are necessary to protect against vaccine-preventable diseases. They can also administer necessary vaccines to teenagers, children, and adults.
To learn more about our adolescent medicine services or to schedule a consultation with one of our providers, contact us today at (305) 273-9100 or fill out our online appointment request form. We look forward to serving you!