Vaccinations for School-Aged Children and the Diseases They Prevent
Vaccinations have reduced and in some cases eliminated serious diseases in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians recommend vaccinations for children, preteens and teens to help protect them from serious diseases that can cause harm.
Even though students may have received their recommended immunizations when they were younger, protection from some vaccines may decline by the time children become preteens and teens, leaving them at risk for infection from certain diseases. For example, the CDC recommends that preteens and teens get a booster vaccine to help protect against whooping cough. However, according to the CDC’s 2008 National Immunization Survey, only 41 percent of 13-17 year-olds received at least one Tdap (tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid, acellular pertussis) booster shot to help protect against whooping cough.
In addition to recommendations from the CDC and other health authorities, some states may require that children receive specific immunizations for school or daycare entry.
CDC Age Recommendations for Preteen and Teen Vaccinations for 2010
- Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis (Whooping cough): Tdap (tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid and acellular pertussis vaccines) is a single booster vaccine that helps to protect against all three diseases. Experts recommend that adolescents receive a single dose of this vaccine at 11-12 years if they have completed the childhood diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and whole cell pertussis (DTP)/ diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis (DTaP) vaccination series and have not received a tetanus and diphtheria toxoid (Td). Persons aged 13 through 18 years who have not received Tdap should receive a dose.
- Human papillomavirus: HPV vaccine helps protect against certain types of the human papillomavirus. Experts recommend that girls get this set of three vaccines at age 11 or 12 years. Catch-up vaccination is also recommended in girls 13 through 18 years. Boys between ages nine through 18 years may choose to get this set of three vaccines to prevent genital warts.
- Meningococcal: MCV4 helps protect against meningococcal disease. Experts recommend that adolescents get a single dose of this vaccine at age 11 or 12 years.
- Influenza (Flu) and H1N1 Influenza (Swine Flu): The influenza vaccine for the 2010-2011 influenza season helps to protect against influenza (also known as the “flu”), including the H1N1 strain of influenza that caused the recent pandemic. The CDC recommends that preteens/teens get the flu vaccine yearly.
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