Vaccines are not just for babies anymore. Pre-teens, ages 9-12, and teens have different needs for immunizations. Teens are more social and take more risks, so they are likely to catch certain diseases. Also, the protection from the immunizations they received as children can begin to fade so an additional dose or booster is needed. By giving the immunizations in the pre-teen years, teens are protected when they are most at risk. Talk to your healthcare provider about vaccines for your pre-teen and teen.
The following vaccines are recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the CDC starting at age 11or 12 and some are required for school attendance in Virginia:
Download the Adolescents Immunization Schedule
Meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4)
Protects against most strains of bacterial meningitis. The first dose should be given at age 11-12 with a booster dose at age 16.
Virginia requirement: one dose before attending a four year public university.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
Protects girls and women against HPV that can lead to cervical cancer and genital warts and protects boys and men against genital warts and anal cancer. Both need a three-dose series.
Virginia requirement: The complete 3 dose series of HPV is required for girls with the first dose required before starting 6th grade. Parents may review educational material and elect to not to vaccinate their child.
Protects against the seasonal flu strains predicted to be most common during the year and is given annually
The 2011-12 seasonal influenza vaccine contains the same strains as the previous year’s vaccine and will protect against the 2009 H1N1 virus (swine flu) as well as two other influenza strains.
Catch up Vaccines:
If your teen did not receive the following vaccine series, they need them now:
- Hepatitis B (HepB) Series
- Varicella (Chickenpox) Series
- Inactivated Poliovirus (Polio) Series
- Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) Series