Adolescents and Vaccinations

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends pre-teens ages 11 to 12 to get the following vaccines: one dose of tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis vaccine, two doses of meningococcal conjugate vaccine, three doses of human papillomavirus vaccine and a yearly influenza vaccine.  With the school year approaching, this may be the ideal time to go as many teens will require physicals.

Pre-teens may also need to catch up on missed vaccines or vaccines that require multiple dosages.  The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendation for preteens can be found  at

The HPV vaccine prevents many kinds of cancer.  HPV infection can result in cervical cancer for women, penile cancer in man, anal or throat cancers in both genders.  The vaccine Gardasil can also protect against genital warts caused by sexual or skin on skin contact.  The vaccine has proven safe and effective for both sexes from ages 9-26. The ACIP suggests that adolescents start these vaccinations (one of three) at age 11 or 12, but older adolescents who missed the vaccinations can still catch up as long as they begin as soon as possible.  However, females should not get the vaccines past age 26 and males should not get the vaccines past age 21.  It is recommended that males who have sex with other males receive the vaccines until age 26.

While eleven and twelve may seem young to receive this vaccine, it is required so that all three doses are complete before any sexual activity occurs.  More antibodies against HPV are produced when vaccinated at a younger age.

Anyone under the age of 18 who are registered in new group or individual private health plans are able to receive certain vaccinations without any cost-sharing requirements-when provided by an in-network provider.  These vaccinations include Tetanus, Diptheria, Pertussis, Haemophilus Influenza Type B, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Human Papillomavirus, Inactivated Poliovirus, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Meningococcal, Rotavirus, and Varicella.

For additional information see:


Office of Adolescent Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices: