Ensuring the health and well-being of our adolescents is of utmost importance. With the myriad of changes they face, it’s crucial to keep them protected against vaccine-preventable diseases.
Here, you can learn why vaccinations are a critical aspect of healthcare and which ones are recommended specifically for adolescents to help keep them healthy and safe for years to come.
Why Are Vaccinations Important for Adolescents?
While vaccinations are commonly associated with infants and young children, they remain essential for adolescents, as well. As young people become more independent, they face an increased risk of acquiring various infections and diseases. Adolescent doctors emphasize the importance of continuing immunizations to maintain and boost the immunity of teens against various ailments.
Staying up-to-date with recommended vaccinations also helps in:
- Preventing the spread of diseases within a community
- Ensuring the overall health and well-being of adolescents
- Reducing medical costs caused by such ailments
Recommended Vaccinations for Adolescents
Here are some of the primary vaccinations that adolescents should receive, as recommended by adolescent doctors:
1. HPV (Human Papillomavirus) vaccine
HPV is a common virus responsible for causing certain types of cancers, such as cervical, vaginal, anal, or throat cancer, later in life. The HPV vaccine is essential in helping prevent these cancers, along with other infections, such as genital warts. Both girls and boys can benefit from this shot, and it’s administered in a series of doses, starting at age 11 or 12.
2. Meningococcal disease vaccine
This vaccine protects adolescents from severe bacterial infections caused by a type of bacteria called Neisseria meningitidis. Meningococcal disease can lead to several complications, such as brain damage, hearing loss, or even death. The vaccine is usually given at age 11 or 12, with a booster shot around age 16.
3. Influenza (flu) vaccine
The flu shot is an annual vaccination that helps protect against the most common viral strains of the influenza virus. Adolescent doctors recommend this vaccine each year (ideally by the end of October) for all individuals six months of age and older, including adolescents, as the flu can result in serious illness and complications in some cases, particularly in those with certain chronic conditions, such as asthma.
4. Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) booster vaccine
The Tdap vaccine is a combination shot that protects against three bacterial infections – tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough). A series of shots are needed to acquire and maintain protection, with the first shot being recommended at 2 months of age. A booster shot is recommended for adolescents between the ages of 11 and 12 years.
5. Catch-up vaccinations
To ensure adolescents stay healthy and safe, it’s important to make sure they stay on track with vaccinations. Depending on the adolescent’s immunization history, catch-up vaccinations might be necessary for those who haven’t received specific shots or completed a vaccine series. Examples include the Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Varicella (chickenpox), polio (IPV), and MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccines.
Consult with an adolescent doctor regarding any concerns or questions about vaccine schedules and requirements for your teenager to stay well-protected. Vaccinations play a vital role in the overall health of adolescents. By promoting immunity against a range of diseases, these essential shots ensure that young people can lead healthy, fulfilling lives. Remember, prevention is always better than cure! So, make sure your teens are up to date with their recommended vaccinations for a healthier and safer tomorrow.
Adolescent Doctor Near Me in Purchase, NY
For comprehensive adolescent medical care, including immunizations annual wellness exams, and sports physicals, contact the compassionate and highly-skilled providers at BridgeSpan Medicine, located in Purchase, New York.
Our dedicated team of adolescent medicine specialists provide a wide range of services to keep your teen healthy. To learn more about us or to schedule a private consultation with one of our providers, call us today at (914) 698-5544 or use our convenient Request an Appointment form. We look forward to providing your teen with the care they need to stay as healthy as possible.