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Health & Parenting

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Back-to-School Vaccinations Made Simple

Vaccine Checklist continued...

Eleven to 12 Years
The following vaccines are recommended for 11- and12-year-olds:

  • Tetanus-diphtheria-acellular peruses vaccine (Tdap). Adolescents aged 11 to 18 should get one dose of this vaccine.
  • Meningococcal vaccine (MCV4). The CDC recommends that adolescents receive this vaccine during their 11- to 12- year-old check-up or when they enter high school or college.
  • Hepatits B. This three-shot vaccine course is recommended for adolescents who did not receive it as part of their childhood vaccines.
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) or cervical cancer vaccine. As of now, two vaccines (Cervarix and Gardasil) are available to protect against the types of HPV that cause most cervical cancers. These are given in three shots over a six-month period.

Gardasil also protects against most genital warts. Both vaccines are recommended for 11- and 12-year-old girls. In addition, females aged 13 through 26 who did not get any (or all) of the shots are eligible for the HPV shot. These vaccines can also be given to girls as young as age 9. Girls should receive the same vaccine brand for all three doses. Gardasil can be used to protect boys and men ages 9 through 26 from most types of genital warts.

Catch-Up Vaccines

Older children should receive HepB, Polio, MMR, and Varicella vaccines if they did not receive the recommended doses when they were younger. The CDC also recommends a second “catch-up” varicella shot for children, adolescents, and adults who have previously received one dose. Some children may need additional vaccines either based on their personal risk profile such as pneumococcal polysaccharide (PPV), Hepatitis A, and influenza.

“The schedule is very complicated compared to 15 years ago,” Rodewald says. “There are twice as many diseases that can be prevented through vaccines and the schedule changes every year."

The best way to ensure your child has received all the necessary vaccinations is to consult with your pediatrician or nurse and review your child’s file. “Vaccination is the safest way to protect children from vaccine-preventable diseases,” Rodewald says. “Get them in as timely a manner as possible and adhere to school immunization laws.”

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Amita Shroff, MD on July 25, 2013
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