Adolescents

Immunization Information: Adolescents

Vaccines aren’t just for infants and children. As kids get older, protection from some childhood vaccines begins to wear off. Plus, as kids get older, they are more at risk for catching serious diseases, like meningococcal meningitis, so they need protection that vaccines provide.

Health check-ups and sports or camp physicals can be a good opportunity for your preteens and teens to get the recommended vaccines. Preteens and teens may also need catch-up vaccines (if they were not immunized, or were not fully immunized) or vaccines for international travel.photo: teens

Help protect your teen’s health by getting them vaccinated according to the recommended immunization schedule.

Adolescent immunizations protect against diseases such as:

  • Tdap—A booster to protect against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. Now required for 7th grade school entry for preteens (ages 11-12). Tdap is also recommended for all teens (ages13-18) who haven't gotten this shot yet. More information about Tdap is available here.
  • Meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4)—Protects against meningococcal disease. The first dose is recommended at age 11 or 12, followed by a booster (2nd shot) at age 16-18.
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine—Protects against the types of HPV that cause most cervical cancers and some male cancers. HPV vaccine is now universally recommended for both boys and girls starting at age 11-12 years and is given in 3 doses over a 6-month period.
  • Influenza (flu) vaccine—Protects against different strains of seasonal influenza. A yearly dose is recommended for everyone 6 months and older.

Review the Adolescent Immunization Schedule to see if you need any immunizations:

Not sure which vaccines you need? Take this online quiz: www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/Schedulers/adolescent-scheduler.html

Current Recommended Immunizations for Children Ages 7-18 Years

            • Recommended Immunizations
              Printer-friendly version of recommended immunizations

See also

  • Vacination Screening Form  (137 KB, 2 pages)
    Fill out before doctor visit to help determine which vaccines your child may be given

Information about Individual Vaccines:  

Vaccine Information Statements (VIS) are information sheets produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). VISs explain both the benefits and risks of a vaccine. Prior to vaccine administration, a VIS must be provided for all vaccines identified by Federal law.

The most up-to-date collection of VISs is available at: www.immunize.org/vis/

Additional information about individual vaccines is available at: www.vaccineinformation.org/

More Information for Preteens and Teens: www.cdc.gov/vaccines/who/teens/for-preteens-teens.html

More Information for Parents:

Missed Vaccinations

Did your preteen or teen miss a dose or fall behind schedule on recommended vaccines? Review the following schedule and work with your child’s doctor to get your child safely back on track.

Planning International Travel? Find information about recommended travel vaccines for adolescents here.