For Preteens and Teens
Your social life is probably important to you. The last thing you want is for something to get in the way of hanging out with your friends, especially if it is a serious illness. Diseases like meningitis and whooping cough can not only threaten your social life, but more importantly, your health. The good news though is that there are vaccines to protect you from these diseases.
Did You Say SHOTS?
There are several reasons you need vaccines as you mature:
You probably see a doctor or other health care professional for physicals before participating in sports, camping events, travelling, applying to college, and so on. All of these check-ups are a perfect time to ask about vaccines.
What Vaccines Do I Need?
- One shot of Tdap vaccine to protect against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough).
- Two shots of meningococcal vaccine to protect against meningococcal disease. The two most severe and common forms of meningococcal disease are meningitis, an infection of the fluid and lining around the brain and spinal cord, and septicemia, a bloodstream infection.
- Three shots of human papillomavirus (HPV) 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.
Plus, everyone should get a flu vaccine every year to protect against seasonal influenza.
You also need catch-up vaccines if you weren’t fully vaccinated as a child. Catch-up vaccines you might need include measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), hep B, polio, and varicella (chickenpox). If you are travelling or have a chronic health condition like diabetes, heart disease, or asthma, you may need other vaccines as well. Ask your healthcare professional during your next visit if you need additional vaccines.
After You Get the Shots
If you have any questions about vaccines, ask your doctor or nurse, and talk to your parents.
More About Vaccines & Diseases They Prevent
- More About Vaccines & Diseases They Prevent
Chart showing the vaccines needed at 7-10, 11-12, and 13-18 years old
English [2 pages] | Spanish [2 pages]
- HPV Vaccine Information For Young Women
This fact sheet for preteen, teen and young women provides more information about the HPV vaccine
- Teens GetVaxed videos
Epic videos about why you need vaccines
- College and Young Adults (ages 19-24) need these vaccines
Are you studying abroad, entering armed services, or needing to meet university vaccine requirements?
- Rap song about getting vaccinated
60s [MP3] | 30s [MP3] | Rap Lyrics [2 pages]
- How do vaccines work
Learn about the human immune system's response to vaccination.
- Herd immunity
Learn how when most people are vaccinated, the spread of disease is limited.
- Every day, teens are infected with hepatitis B... [2 pages]
There are lots of ways to get this disease: sharing items such as toothbrushes, razors, or nail clippers, getting a tattoo or body piercing with unsterile equipment, or having sex.