Just like infants, teenagers are also at risk of acquiring certain diseases and infections. Hence, they may need the protection of recommended vaccines to keep them healthy. There are many opportunities for vaccination, so do make sure that your teens receive them in your next visit to your family pediatrician. Here we tell you what these recommended vaccines are.
Teens specifically need to be immunized because they have more social interactions with others. They spend more time in dormitories, classrooms, and malls where they may be exposed to different viruses. Also, the vaccines for preteens and teens are important because as kids get older, protection from some childhood vaccines begins to wear off and some vaccines work better when given during adolescence
Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis
Your teens need one shot of Tdap vaccine to protect against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. Tetanus, also known as lockjaw, is an infection that involves muscle spasms. Diphtheria, on the other hand, is a bacterial infection that affects the throat and nose. Finally, pertussis, also called whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory disease.
Your teens also need two shots of meningococcal vaccine to protect against certain meningococcal diseases. The two most severe and common forms of which include meningitis, an infection of the fluid and lining around the brain and spinal cord, and septicemia, a bloodstream infection.
The CDC also recommends three shots of human papillomavirus vaccine to protect against HPV infection and cancers caused by HPV. HPV infection can cause cervical, vaginal, and vulvar cancer in girls and penile cancer in boys. HPV can also cause anal cancer, throat cancer and genital warts in both boys and girls.
One of the recommended vaccines for teens is that against influenza. Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently. In addition, it can infect even healthy people and they, in turn, may spread it to others too. Hence, everyone, not just teens, should get a flu vaccine every year to protect against seasonal influenza.