What Shots Do Teens Need?

All teens need the following shots if they have not already received them:
•      3 doses of hepatitis B vaccine
•      2 doses of a measles-containing vaccine (usually MMR)
•      age-appropriate doses of varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, if they did not have the disease
•      a Td booster

When Should Teens Get These Shots?
An adolescent health care visit is recommended at age 11-12. All of the shots an adolescent needs should be started at that visit. However, there is no need to wait. Children can get many of the recommended shots before age 11 if they are seeing their provider for another reason.

Why Are Shots Important For Teens?
Teens need shots to stay healthy. The diseases these shots protect against are not something a person outgrows. In fact, diseases like tetanus and hepatitis B mostly affect adults. And some diseases, like chickenpox, are more dangerous for teens and adults than they are for small children. Shots are an investment in a teen's future.

Who Says Teens Need Shots?
All of the major medical associations agree that teens need shots to stay healthy.
All of the shots that a teen needs can be started at an adolescent health visit when a child is 11 or 12 years old. This is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), the American Medical Association (AMA), and the U.S. Public Health Service's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).

What Other Preventive Health Services Does A Teen Need?
The adolescent health visit may include a wide variety of health education, screening, and physical assessment services. Discussion topics might include diet/nutrition, exercise, injury prevention, depression, and risk behaviors, as well as immunization. Services will vary depending on a teen's specific needs.

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