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Teen Vaccines

Your preteens and teens need vaccines, too!

There are four vaccines recommended for preteens and teens—these vaccines help protect your children, their friends, and their family members. While your kids should get a flu vaccine every year, the three other preteen vaccines should be given when kids are 11- 12 years old. Teens may also need a booster of a vaccine that requires more than one dose to be fully protected.

Which vaccines are recommended?
Are the vaccines safe and effective?
How do I know if my preteen has received the right vaccines?
Is there help in paying for these vaccines?

Which vaccines are recommended?

The following vaccines are recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, other medical societies, and CDC:

Any visit to your child's health care provider— from an annual health checkup to a physical for sports, camp, or college—can be a good time for preteens and teens to get the recommended vaccinations. Even if your child is going to the provider because they are sick or hurt, he/she still may be able to get shots that he/she needs.

Are the vaccines safe and effective?
The vaccines for preteens are very safe. Some kids might have some mild side effects from shots, such as redness and soreness in the arm. Some preteens and teens may faint after getting a shot or any other medical procedure. Sitting or lying down for about 15 minutes after getting shots can help prevent fainting. Most side effects from vaccines are very minor, especially compared with the serious diseases that these vaccines prevent.

How do I know if my preteen has received the right vaccines?
Be sure to check with your health care provider to make sure that your teen has received all of the vaccines recommended for them. They may need to catch up on vaccines they might have missed when they were younger.

Is there help in paying for these vaccines?
Most health insurance plans cover the cost of vaccines. If you don't have insurance, or if it does not cover vaccines, the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program may be able to help. It provides vaccines for children ages 18 years and younger, who are not insured or under-insured, Medicaid-eligible, American Indian or Alaska Native.

The vaccines are available at the Health Department's county health centers. To schedule an appointment and learn more about cost, please contact the health center. No one is turned away for inability to pay.