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Children's Vaccines Health Center

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Preteen and Teen Immunizations


Why do we need this vaccine? The vaccine covers the most frequent types of the meningitis bacteria (except Type B). Before vaccines, this bacteria was a scourge in the military and can cause panic on college campuses -- both places where young people live in crowded conditions.  

Influenza (flu) vaccine

There are two types of flu vaccine: the first is an inactivated vaccine (TIV) given as an injection into the upper arm. It can be given to anyone 6 months of age and older. The second type, a nasal spray, was introduced more recently and is a live attenuated (LAIV) or "weakened" vaccine. It is not authorized for use in children younger than 2 years old or adults 50 or older.

Flu vaccines are recommended annually for everyone 6 months of age and older. Getting the vaccine is especially important for certain groups, including health care workers, people who may come into contact with those at high risk, those with certain risk factors, and everyone over the age of 65.

Why do we need these vaccines? The flu virus changes (mutates) every year. Often the vaccine is imperfect, but a bad year of the flu can cause major economic and educational disruption.

Hepatitis A vaccine (HepA)

The hepatitis A vaccine requires two doses, administered at least six months apart. At one time the vaccine was only recommended for children who lived in communities that where known to be at higher risk, such as Native American villages, rural areas, and some Hispanic communities, or for children and parents known to travel to areas where the disease is prevalent.

However, as vaccination has proven to significantly lower the occurrence of the disease even in areas where it was seldom seen, current guidelines suggest routine vaccination of all children between 12 and 23 months of age, and certain groups of older children who were never vaccinated, in order to create a similar reduction in hepatitis A throughout the general population.

Why do we need this vaccine? It's easier to travel than ever and there is also more immigration today. Hepatitis A is rarely deadly in children, but it can be debilitating. And children can spread hepatitis A to elderly or ill relatives in whom the disease is much more serious.

Hepatitis B vaccine (HepB)

Because of the prevalence of high-risk activities, such as drug use and sexual activity among teens,hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for any youths who have not been previously vaccinated. A two-dose series of Recombivax HB® is licensed for children aged 11–15 years. There are also three-dose vaccines available for children of this age.

Why do we need this vaccination? Unlike Hepatitis A, this virus can kill and/or cause chronic liver disease and kidney failure. It is particularly common in Asia. Immunization is now required before entering school. 

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