Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Children's Vaccines Health Center

Font Size

Immunizations - Adolescent Immunizations

Recommended immunizations

Adolescents need certain immunizations and booster shots for ongoing protection (immunity) against diseases. Consult your doctor or public health department if your child missed an immunization or if you need to find out whether your child needs a certain one.

The U.S. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Family Physicians recommend a specific immunization schedule for children and adolescents each year.5 This schedule outlines the immunizations and booster shots needed during adolescence and also when catch-up immunizations should be given.

Immunizations recommended for adolescents (ages 11 to 21) include:

Flu (influenza)(What is a PDF document?)

This immunization helps protect against the flu. Flu viruses are always changing, so the flu vaccines are updated every year. Protection lasts up to a year for each flu vaccine type.

Who should get it?

  • All people ages 6 months and older need one dose each year.

Healthy people ages 2 years through 49 years can usually get the nasal spray flu vaccine (FluMist)(What is a PDF document?) instead of the flu shot. Pregnant women can get the flu shot but not FluMist. People ages 18 to 64 can get the intradermal flu shot instead of the regular flu shot. The intradermal vaccine gets injected into the skin instead of the muscle. And it uses a much smaller needle than the regular flu shot.

For the most current CDC guidelines about the flu, go to

Human papillomavirus (HPV)

The vaccines Cervarix(What is a PDF document?) and Gardasil(What is a PDF document?) protect against two types of human papillomavirus (HPV) that cause cervical cancer. Gardasil also protects against two types of HPV that cause genital warts. And it protects against some uncommon cancers, such as vaginal cancer.

Who should get it?

  • All adolescents ages 11 or 12 need three doses of this shot, given over 6 months. (The series of shots can be started at age 9 or 10.)
    • Gardasil can be given to males.
    • Either Cervarix or Gardasil can be given to females.
  • Females 13 to 26 years old who did not get it when they were younger should get this series of shots. Males 13 to 21 years old who did not get it when they were younger should get this series of shots.

If your child already has HPV infection, talk with your doctor about whether to get your child immunized. The shot has not been shown to help existing HPV infection, but it may protect your child from other HPV infections.

HPV: Should My Child Get the Vaccine?
1 | 2 | 3
1 | 2 | 3
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

Baby getting vaccinated
Is there a link? Get the facts.
syringes and graph illustration
Get a customized vaccine schedule.
baby getting a vaccine
Know the benefits and the risk
nurse holding syringe in front of girl
Should your child have it?

What To Know About The HPV Vaccine
24 Kid Illnesses Parents Should Know
Nausea and Vomiting Remedies Slideshow
Managing Immunization Schedules For Kids

Doctor administering vaccine to toddler
gloved hand holding syringe
infant receiving injection

WebMD Special Sections