Immunizations for Tweens and Teens
Each state has its own immunization requirements. Most ask for written proof of a student's immunizations from a doctor or clinic before you can sign your child up for school. Next to clean drinking water, immunizations have been called one of the most important public health interventions in history. They have saved millions of lives.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) both suggest vaccines for older children, including:
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine — three doses at age 11–12
- Meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4) — one dose at age 11–12 with a booster at age 16
- Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (Tdap) vaccine — one dose at age 11–12
- Influenza vaccine — which is recommended each year
When your child sees his or her doctor, be sure to ask him or her to check for any shots that may have been missed. If your child has not received all the recommended shots or has started late, the CDC suggests using their Adolescent Immunization Scheduler to help create a catch up schedule for missed shots.
This article is not meant to replace a doctor's advice. Be sure to talk to your doctor about immunizations your tween or teen may need.