Keeping Teenagers Safe: A Guide to Recommended
Vaccines are an essential part of keeping teenagers healthy and protected from serious illnesses and diseases. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends three vaccines that teens should receive: the Meningococcal vaccine, the HPV vaccine, and the Tdap vaccine. These vaccinations help protect against meningitis, cervical cancer, tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis respectively.
In this article, we will look at each of these recommended teen vaccinations in more detail so that you can make an informed decision about your teen’s healthcare needs.
The Meningococcal Vaccine
The Meningococcal vaccine is a vaccination used to protect against the serious and potentially deadly illness, meningitis.
Meningitis is an inflammation of the protective membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord. It can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi, but the Meningococcal vaccine only protects against bacterial meningitis.
Age: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that teens receive this vaccine at the ages of 11 to 12, with a booster dose at ages 16 to 18.
Protection: The vaccine is safe and very effective in preventing meningitis infections—studies show that it is 85-100% effective in protecting against bacterial meningitis in adolescents.
The HPV Vaccine
The HPV vaccine is a vaccination designed to protect against the Human Papillomavirus, or HPV.
HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection, and it can cause several types of cancer, including cervical cancer.
Age: The CDC recommends that teen girls and boys receive this vaccine at around age 11 or 12. For maximum protection against HPV-related diseases, the CDC recommends that teen girls and boys get two doses of the vaccine six to twelve months apart.
Protection: The HPV vaccine is very effective in preventing HPV-related illnesses—studies suggest that it can prevent up to 90% of cervical cancers.
The Tdap Vaccine
The Tdap Vaccine is a combination vaccine used to protect against three diseases: tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, also known as whooping cough.
Age: This vaccine is usually given as an adolescent booster shot at the age of 11 or 12. The Tdap vaccine works by introducing a weakened version of the bacteria or virus that causes the disease into your teen’s body. This allows their immune system to recognize and fight off the infection if it arises in the future.
Protection: The Tdap vaccine is very effective in preventing tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis—studies suggest that it can prevent up to 95% of cases of these diseases in teen and adult populations.
Vaccines Are a Tool
The importance of teen vaccinations in protecting against serious illnesses cannot be overstated. Vaccines are one of the most important tools that we have in preventing serious illnesses that can cause not only severe and lifelong health complications, but also death. By receiving the recommended teen vaccines, adolescents can help protect themselves from meningitis, HPV-related diseases such as cervical cancer, and tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis.
We are here to provide you with advice and information about what vaccines your teens should receive in order to make sure they are protected against these potentially life-changing illnesses.