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.
Help protect your teen’s health by getting them vaccinated according to the recommended immunization schedule.
Which Vaccines Do Preteens and Teens Need, and When?
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.
Current Recommended Immunizations for Children Ages 7-18 Years
Recommended Immunizations Printer-friendly version of recommended immunizations
Vacination Screening Form (137 KB, 2 pages) Fill out before doctor visit to help determine which vaccines your child may be given
Download this tool to help you determine the vaccines your adolescent needs:
Information about Individual Vaccines:
Vaccine Information Statements (VISs) 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.