Health care needs change as kids mature from childhood through adolescence. Preventive care, wellness and immunizations are just as important for this age group.
Adolescents and teens should continue to have annual preventive care (wellness) visits. Preventive care is an important part of keeping children healthy into adulthood, so make sure visits remain a priority.
At annual visits, your PCP can:
An annual preventive (wellness) visit is an exam and health assessment to help monitor and treat a person’s level of health. A sports physical is an exam to help show that it is safe for an athlete to participate in a sport.
As kids grow, protection from some childhood vaccines begins to wear off. They also become at risk for added diseases. Staying up-to-date with recommended vaccines offers the best possible protection against common preventable diseases.
The CDC recommends vaccinating every adolescent against cancers caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) before their 13th birthday. Because the immune system has a stronger response in younger years, early vaccination can help protect adolescents from HPV - before exposure to the virus occurs.
|Adolescent vaccines||Why needed||Dose|
|Human papillomavirus (HPV)||Protects against cervical, anal, oral and a few other rare cancers||Two-dose series completed by age 13|
|Meningococcal||Protects against a bacterial infection that can make the lining of the brain and spinal cord swell||One by age 13|
|Tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis||A combination vaccine that protects against three life-threatening bacterial diseases||One by age 13|
|Meningococcal booster (ages 16-18)||Meningococcal (MCV) booster (ages 16-18) Helps prevent meningococcal disease caused by serogroup B||One|
|Flu (all ages||Protects against new strains of flu viruses - respiratory infections that can cause serious complications|
One every fall or winter
For more information on the HPV Vaccine:
The CDC also recommends that adolescents receive the meningococcal and tetanus, diphtheria and
pertussis vaccines before age 13. A MCV booster is also recommended for ages 16-18.