As your children become preteens, some vaccines they received as infants and young children begin to wear off and they need a “booster dose.” Other vaccines are recommended for children starting at ages 11 or 12 to keep them healthy into adulthood. Preteens and teens are at increased risk of getting certain vaccine-preventable diseases as they engage in common activities such as sharing drinks and utensils, kissing, attending summer camps, and later, college.
Missed well-care visits can leave your children unprotected. Preteens and teens do not have as many regular visits with healthcare providers and may miss critical vaccines that can protect them.
Talk to your children’s healthcare provider regularly to make sure your they are up-to-date on all of their vaccines including flu, Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough), meningitis (MenACWY and MenB) and HPV.
The CDC develops the U.S. immunization schedules for children, teens and adults based on recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). The CDC’s recommended immunization schedule is the ONLY vaccination schedule in the U.S. that is rigorously tested for safety and effectiveness. This schedule is also endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians.
The vaccines recommended in the schedule are carefully timed to provide protection to children and teens when they are most vulnerable to diseases, and when the vaccines will produce the strongest response from their immune systems. That’s why it is so important to follow the schedule as closely as possible.