Immunizations are not just for infants and children. Preteens and teens also need protection against infectious diseases, specifically those that can affect young people and their chances for a healthy future. Some of these will be new for your teen. The TdaP however, is a booster to the previous DtaP series they should already have completed. This is necessary to boost immunity to whooping cough.
- Flu vaccine (annual)
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine
- Meningococcal conjugate vaccine
- Serogroup B meningoccal vaccine
- Tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap) vaccine
The vaccines on this list are especially important for this age group because of how the infections spread. It is strongly recommended that your child get the HPV vaccine which protects against human papillomavirus, which can cause cervical, throat, and other types of cancer. While your teen may not engage in activity that can lead to HPV spread now, the vaccine is intended to protect them into adulthood. Why do we give it now? The immune system is working a lot better in teens than in adults. Furthermore, the best protection occurs before any potential exposure.
Teens and young adults are at high risk of meningococcal diseases because they tend to have regular close contact with one another leading to increase risk of spread. Meningococcal disease, or meningitis, is caused by bacteria that infects the lining of the brain, spinal cord, and bloodstream. Meningococcal conjugate and serogroup B meningoccal vaccines protect against several types of bacteria causing meningitis.
This vaccination schedule provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention will explain what vaccines your teen needs and when. It will also give you more detail about these infections.
In addition, the state of California has vaccination requirements for children in public schools. The web site Shots for School will outline exactly what your child needs in order to attend school. Keep in mind that your college bound student will likely need to have all previous vaccine series completed in addition to the vaccines listed here.
It is important to keep an accurate record of your child’s immunizations. You can find a copy of your child’s current immunizations using your MyChart account. For more information, visit the CPCMG web site page about medical records.