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Image: ImmYOUnity Essential truths about immunization
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Vaccines for Teenagers
and Preteens

Keeping preteens & teenagers up-to-date as they get older

Adolescents may think they're immune from getting sick. But you know better. As adolescents approach their teen years, they are at greater risk for certain diseases, such as meningococcal disease—a potentially life-threatening bacterial infection.51,52 Adolescents typically have fewer wellness visits than young infants and children, so it's important to find out if they're up-to-date on all age-appropriate vaccinations.54 A physical for school, sports, or camp can be a great opportunity for this.

Image: Vaccines for Preteens and Teenagers

Recommended vaccines for preteens & teenagers

Diphtheria Vaccination

Diphtheria vaccination

Diphtheria is a bacterial infection that is spread from person to person through coughing, sneezing, and close contact.78 Adolescents are vaccinated against it with the Tdap vaccine.

Read more about the Tdap vaccine
Flu (Influenza) Vaccine

Flu (Influenza) vaccine

The flu can be serious. But fortunately, it's preventable. Adolescents, along with everyone over 6 months of age, should get the flu vaccine every year.49

Read more about the flu vaccine
HPV Vaccine

HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine

At least half of all sexually active people will get HPV in their lifetime, and many won't even know it.61 It's important to vaccinate your adolescent before they become sexually active.

Read more about the HPV vaccine
Meningitis Vaccine

Meningitis (meningococcal) vaccine

College students—particularly freshmen who live in dormitories—aren't the only ones who may be at increased risk for this potentially deadly disease.146,147 There may also be an increased risk for meningitis in teens and younger adolescents.147

Tetanus Vaccination

Tetanus vaccination

Your adolescent was probably vaccinated against tetanus as a child, but that protection wears off over time. This is why your preteen needs a booster shot known as Tdap, which also helps protect them from diphtheria, and whooping cough (pertussis).

Read more about the Tdap vaccine
Pertussis Vaccination

Whooping cough (pertussis) vaccination

This highly contagious disease has been on the rise in the United States.57 Infants are most at risk, but adolescents and adults have accounted for an increasing number of cases in recent years. You can help protect your adolescent with a Tdap booster.

Read more about the Tdap vaccine

Catch-up vaccines for teenagers & preteens

Your teenager or preteen may need to catch up on some childhood vaccines, depending on his or her immunization history.133 If your child was never immunized or didn't finish a vaccine series for the following diseases, talk to your health care professional about catch-up immunization.79

Chickenpox Vaccine

Chickenpox vaccine

The chickenpox (varicella) vaccine is recommended for adolescents who haven't been previously vaccinated and have not had chickenpox. Any adolescent who was vaccinated as a child with only 1 dose should get a second dose.49

Hepatitis B Vaccine

Hepatitis B vaccine

Anyone under 19 years of age who was never vaccinated against Hep B or didn't get the whole series needs catch-up vaccination.80

Read more about the hepatitis B vaccine
Measles Vaccination

Measles vaccine

The United States is in the middle of its worst measles outbreak in 15 years.81 It's more important than ever to make sure your adolescent is fully vaccinated against measles.

Mumps Vaccination

Mumps vaccination

Your teen or preteen should have received 2 doses of MMR vaccine during childhood to help protect against mumps.49

Polio Vaccine

Polio vaccine

Adolescents may need a booster shot if they didn't get fully vaccinated as a child, or before traveling to a developing country with a low vaccination rate—even if they were vaccinated as children—to ensure the original vaccine series remains effective.49,29

Learn more about the polio vaccine
Rubella Vaccination

Rubella vaccination

If your teen or preteen didn't receive 2 doses of MMR vaccine as a child, he or she could be at risk for rubella.92


Vaccines for high-risk preteens & teens

Some teens and preteens need to be vaccinated against the following diseases, depending on their health condition, lifestyle, and if they plan to visit certain countries.79 Check with your health care provider to see if your child is at higher risk.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

Hepatitis A vaccine

Your adolescent may have a greater chance of getting the disease if he or she is traveling out of the country or has certain medical conditions. Lifestyle factors (such as drug use) may also increase an adolescent's risk of Hep A. Vaccination is recommended for adolescents who are not fully vaccinated or who are at an increased risk for infection.57

Pneumococcal Vaccine

Pneumococcal vaccine

Adolescents who smoke, have asthma, sickle cell disease, or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, are at high risk of complications from pneumococcal disease and should get vaccinated. Because protective antibodies often decline, revaccination may be needed.57