Resources for Parents
What Vaccines Do Pre-teens need?
Doctors recommend that all 11 and 12 year olds get the Tdap and meningoccal vaccines, as well as an influenza shot. They should also receive, human papillomavirus (HPV or also known as cervical cancer) a series of 3 shots given over 6 months is recommended for 11 and 12 year old girls and is also available for boys.
This vaccine prevents three diseases: tetanus (known in the past as "lockjaw"), diphtheria and pertussis ("whooping cough"). The shots that infants and young children receive protect against diseases including these three. But protection against these three diseases begins to wear off as kids get older. For pre-teens and members of other groups, the Tdap vaccine takes the place of what used to be referred to as the "tetanus booster" and has the added benefit of continuing protection against whooping cough, which is very contagious. Whooping cough can not only make pre-teens very sick, but it can be passed on to others, including infants, who can die from it. Pre-teens going to the doctor for a regular check-up at age 11 or 12 years should get a "booster" dose of Tdap.
This vaccine protects against meningitis and blood stream infections. The meningococcal conjugate vaccine is recommended for all 11-18 year olds. Kids should get this vaccine at 11-12 years of age and a booster dose at age 16.
HPV is a virus. This vaccine protects against the types of HPV that most commonly cause cervical cancer and genital warts. There are 2 vaccines licensed by the FDA; both prevent cervical cancer in females and one also prevents genital warts in males and females. Doctors recommend either HPV vaccine for 11- and 12-year-old girls and may choose to vaccinate 11- and 12-year-old boys.
The flu shot is an inactivated vaccine that is given with a needle, usually in the arm. The nasal-spray flu vaccine is made with live, weakened flu viruses that do not cause the flu. Even if you or your children received a flu vaccine last year, you both still need to get the flu vaccine this season to be protected.
CDC Pre-teen and Adolescent Immunization Information
Adolescent Vaccination Information
Adolescent Immunization Questions & Answers
Guide for Parents on Pertussis Vaccine
Parent Information on Vaccine Preventable Diseases
Concerned about Vaccines
BAM (Body and Mind)
Vaccines for Teens (NBA & WNBA)