Resources for Parents and Professionals
Information about Vaccines
Vaccines are very important because they decrease the chances of getting certain diseases. It is important to vaccinate adolescents as well as young children.
Listed below you will find information about vaccines available for adolescents. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) provided this information.
Tdap (Tetanus, Diptheria and Acellular Pertussis) Vaccine
It is recommended that teens ages 11-18 years old receive a Tdap booster. In North Carolina all students entering 6th grade must receive a Tdap vaccine to attend school. This vaccine is one shot that lasts ten years.
1. Tetanus (also known as lock jaw): causes painful muscle spasms all over the body and it can prevent you from opening your mouth. You can get tetanus through types of cuts and wounds, from animal bites, tattoos, body piercings, rusty nails etc.
2. Diptheria: caused by a bacteria that causes a thick covering in the back of the throat. It can cause breathing problems, paralysis, heart failure and death. Diptheria is spread person to person.
3. Pertussis (also known as whopping cough): caused by bacteria that can cause severe coughing spells, weight loss, pneumonia and sometimes death. Pertussis is spread person to person and is highly contagious.
It is recommended that all teenagers ages 11-18 years old receive a meningococcal vaccine. This vaccine is also known as Menactra. This vaccine prevents against four types of meningococcal disease which can lead to serious illness infecting the fluid around your brain and spinal cord. Meningitis can be spread through coughing, kissing or sharing drinks. Even when people diagnosed with meningitis are treated with antibiotics, 1 in 10 of these people die. For the people that survive, up to 1 in 5 of them may experience brain damage, become mentally retarded, become deaf, suffer seizures, suffer a stroke and/or lose their arms or legs. This vaccine is one shot only.
Human Papillomavirus Vaccine (HPV)
It is recommended this girls and boys ages 9-26 years old receive HPV vaccine. This vaccine is also known as Gardasil and it is most effective if received at an earlier age. HPV is a virus that can cause abnormal pap smears and cervical cancer in females and genital warts in males and females. This vaccine is a series of three shots.
Measles, Mumps, Rubella Vaccine (MMR)
The MMR vaccine is recommended for all teenagers that have not had the vaccine as a young child. The vaccine is a series of two shots.
1. Measles: causes high fever and rash over the body and is highly contagious.
2. Mumps: causes swollen glands, fever, headaches and can lead to meningitis, deafness and sometimes death. It is highly contagious.
3. Rubella: causes rash, fever and arthritis.
Hepatitis B Vaccine (Hep B)
It is recommended that all teenagers receive the Hepatitis B vaccine if they did not receive the vaccine as a young child. Hepatitis B is a serious disease that affects the liver and can spread through contact with infected blood or bodily fluids. It can cause liver damage, liver cancer and death. This vaccine is a series of three shots.
Hepatitis A Vaccine (Hep A)
It is recommended that all teenagers receive the Hepatitis A vaccine. This vaccine protects against Hepatitis A which is a serious liver disease. Hepatitis A can be spread from person to person or by eating or drinking contaminated food or water. The vaccine is a series of two shots.
Varicella Vaccine (Chickenpox)
It is recommended that all teenagers that have not had the chickenpox receive this vaccine. Chickenpox is a common disease that is spread by person to person contact that causes rash, itching, fever and tiredness. This vaccine is a series of two shots.
Influenza Vaccine (Flu)
The flu vaccine is recommended for all teenagers every year. The flu is a contagious disease that is spread by coughing or sneezing. The flu can cause fever, headache, body aches, sore throat, cough, fatigue and chills.
More resources available on adolescent health topics
Customized and timely pediatric health information at www.healthychildren.org
Nutrition and physical activity information from the USDA's MyPlate project at www.choosemyplate.gov
Information about birth control methods at www.bedsider.org
Information about Keeping Teens Safe in the car www.safercar.gov/parents/index.htm
Keeping Youth Safe from Preventable Injury www.safekids.org/safetytips
A Parent's Guide to Internet Safety www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/parent-guide