Immunizations help you become immune or resistant to diseases and illnesses. With the discovery of vaccines, safeguarding against various infections and diseases became possible. The role of a vaccine is to stimulate the immune system to protect the body against pathogens that can cause potentially life-threatening illnesses.
A lot of people associate vaccines with babies. However, vaccines are recommended at different ages. When your child reaches preteen and teen years, it is best to update past immunizations and find out which vaccines he or she can benefit from.
Here are vaccines that can help your teen steer clear from preventable diseases:
Annual Influenza (Flu) Vaccination
Influenza or flu is a highly contagious viral infection affecting the nose, lungs, and throat, which can cause mild to severe symptoms. The virus changes every year, and everyone ages six months and older should get the flu vaccination every year.
Meningococcal disease can cause meningitis and bloodstream infections. This vaccine covers the most frequent types of meningitis bacteria. Your child should get the first shot of the vaccine at age 11 to 12. The first shot will be followed by a booster when they turn 16. Your teen may also be vaccinated with a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine between ages 16 and 18.
The Tdap vaccine protects the body from tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (also known as whooping cough). It is usually given to kids ages 11 or 12 if they’ve had the DTP/DTaP vaccination series. If your child missed their Td/Tdap booster at age 11 or 12, the vaccine may be administered to them between the ages of 13 and 18.
Hepatitis B Vaccine (HepB)
Hepatitis B can spread through bodily fluid exposure, sexual activity, and substance abuse. The virus can lead to long-term liver disease, which may end up being life-threatening. There are two-dose and three-dose versions of the vaccine available for children ages 11 to 15.
HPV, which stands for human papillomavirus, is commonly linked to cancer, especially cervical cancer. Children should get their first dose of the vaccine by 11 or 12 years of age. The second dose should follow six months after the first. Three shots are recommended for teens 15 and older. The HPV vaccine should be given to teens ages 13 to 18 if they weren’t vaccinated earlier.
The HPV vaccine prevents the development of at least 75% of cervical cancers in women as well as head, neck, and throat cancers.
Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccine (MMR)
Measles, mumps, and rubella (or German measles), which are spread by viruses through coughing and sneezing, can be prevented by an MMR vaccination. If your teen wasn’t vaccinated in childhood, they should get two doses of MMR, with at least one month between the doses.
Comprehensive Pediatric Care in Massachusetts
All parents want what’s best for their children. Hence, help protect your teen when it comes to preventable diseases and illnesses. Talk to a doctor today about which vaccines your teen should get.
Here in Newburyport and Haverhill, we at Children’s Health Care understand your concerns for your children’s health and wellbeing. With the help of our expert and board-certified staff, your teen’s health will be in good hands.
If you have any questions, or if you want to book an appointment, call (978) 465-7121 for our Newburyport office or (978) 373-6557 for our Haverhill office.