We have five children – the oldest is 30. The youngest are in their teens and before heading to school this year they are getting their annual physicals. These annual physicals mean eye exams, hearing tests, and teen vaccinations.
For teens the following vaccinations are recommended:
- Meningococcal-includes two distinct meningococcal disease vaccines (ACWY and B)
- Tdap-tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough) and Td Booster (tetanus and diphtheria)
- HPV-human papillomavirus
In Connecticut the year for teen vaccinations is when they enter 7th grade. This is the year for my daughter to receive them and her appointment is very soon.
Survey results from Unity Consortium showed that a majority of parents and teens believe it is important for all teens to be vaccinated, yet the rates are far lower than where they should be. The survey reinforced that both parents’ and teens’ attitudes towards preventive health keep them from prioritizing important preventive health strategies like vaccination.
Why is that? One example is that approximately 1 in 4 parents and teens believe that vaccines are more important for babies and not as important for teens and 1/3 of teens don’t know how being vaccinated helps them… These two statistics really show that a good portion of the lack of vaccination is tied to lack of understanding and awareness by parents and teens. Unity4TeenVax.org…
There are ways to change this and make a difference. Unity Consortium addresses the challenges surrounding adolescent and young adult health, with a goal of ensuring 9 in 10 are fully vaccinated against preventable diseases. There is additional information about the survey and the importance of vaccines on the website Unity4TeenVax.org.
Following through on annual check-ups (physicals) is a major step towards proper vaccination. They are a critical part of preventive health, especially at 11-12 and 16-years of age when teens get the recommended vaccinations. As long as the annual check-up is a priority you don’t even need to remember when vaccinations are due – your teens physician will always be paying attention to the timelines and prompt you accordingly. Adolescent immunization is a central part of adolescent health and is one of the best investments you can make to your teens’ long-term health by keeping up to date with their vaccinations.
We need our children to stay healthy so we can continue to do all the things we love to do.