Immunizations - Adolescent Immunizations
The importance of
immunizations in adolescence (ages 11 through about 21 years) is not always recognized. Adolescents need to continue their
immunization series and receive booster shots for ongoing protection (immunity) against diseases. Many adolescents were born
after the current recommendations for certain immunizations, such as for
hepatitis B, were established. So they did not receive all their needed shots
(injections) in early childhood.
The U.S. Advisory Committee on
Immunization Practices (ACIP), the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the
American Academy of Family Physicians recommend a specific
immunization schedule for children and adolescents
each year.5 This schedule outlines the immunizations
and booster shots needed during adolescence and also when catch-up
immunizations should be given.
To see or print a list of what shots are
needed, go to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
interactive website at www2.cdc.gov/nip/adultImmSched.
Immunizations given during adolescence usually include:
This immunization helps protect against the seasonal
flu and the H1N1 (swine) flu. Flu viruses are always changing, so the flu
vaccines are updated every year. Protection lasts up to a year for each flu
Who should get it?
Flu immunization is recommended once a year for:
- All people ages 6 months and older.
- Household contacts and caregivers of anyone who is at high risk
for complications of the flu.
- Anyone who wants to reduce the chance of becoming ill with
the flu or spreading it to others.
Healthy people ages 2 years through 49 years can
usually get the
nasal spray flu vaccine (FluMist)(What is a PDF document?) instead of the flu shot. Pregnant women can get the flu shot but not
For more information about the flu, see the topics Influenza (Seasonal Flu) and H1N1 Influenza (Swine Flu). For the most current CDC guidelines about the flu, go to www.cdc.gov/flu.
Human papillomavirus (HPV)
The vaccines Cervarix(What is a PDF document?) and Gardasil(What is a PDF document?) protect against two types of human papillomavirus (HPV) that cause
cervical cancer. Gardasil also protects against two types of HPV that cause
genital warts. And it
protects against some uncommon cancers, such as vaginal cancer.
Who should get it?
- Girls 11 or 12 years old need three doses of either Cervarix or Gardasil, given over 6
months. (The series of shots can be given to girls as young as 9 or 10 years old.)
- Females 13 to 26 years
old who did not get it when they were younger should get this series of shots.
- Males ages 9 to 26 can get three Gardasil shots to reduce the chance of getting genital warts.