Adolescent Vax Questions

Preteens and teens are at risk for diseases and need the protection of vaccines to keep them healthy. As kids get older, protection from some childhood vaccines begins to wear off and some vaccines work better when given during adolescence.

The HPV vaccine protects against most of the cancers caused by the human papillomavirus. HPV is a very common virus that spreads through sexual contact. Approximately 14 million people become infected each year. HPV can cause cancers of the anus, cervix, vagina, vulva, penis, mouth and throat. It is recommended that both boys and girls receive the vaccine at age 11 or 12 so they are protected before ever being exposed.

The HPV vaccine protects against most of the cancers caused by the human papillomavirus. HPV is a very common virus that spreads through sexual contact. HPV is a very common virus; Approximately 14 million men and women become infected each year. HPV can cause penile, anal and throat cancer, as well as genital warts in males. It is recommended that both boys and girls receive the vaccine at age 11 or 12 so they are protected before ever being exposed.

Yes. HPV vaccines have been carefully studied and monitored for many years with no serious safety concerns. Since the HPV vaccine was approved in 2006, more than 80 million doses have been administered. The most common side effect reported was pain and swelling at the shot location in the arm, fever, dizziness and nausea. These side effects are the same for most vaccines. Children with severe allergies to yeast or latex should not get certain HPV vaccines. Be sure to tell your doctor or nurse about any allergies.

Most insurance companies cover the HPV vaccine. Ask your doctor about the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program, which provides vaccines for children ages 18 and younger who are uninsured and Medicaid-eligible.

No. There are many myths about the HPV vaccine. HPV vaccines have been and continue to be studied very carefully, with no serious safety concerns noted. The link to the brochure below lists some of the studies, and has links to that information. Since the vaccine was approved in 2006, more than 80 million doses of the HPV vaccine have been administered. The most common side effect reported was pain and swelling at the shot location in the arm, fever, dizziness and nausea. These are the same side effects reported for most vaccines.

The Tdap vaccine protects against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough). Babies and toddlers receive a similar vaccine, but the protection wears off as children get older. Pre-teens and teens need a booster to protect them from serious illnesses. Tetanus is a very serious and painful toxin that can cause hospitalization or even death. Diphtheria can cause paralysis, heart failure or death. Pertussis or whooping cough spreads very easily and can be deadly for babies or elderly people. In Ohio, the Tdap vaccine is required for entry into the 7th Grade.

Most insurance companies cover the Tdap vaccine. Ask your doctor about the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program, which provides vaccines for children ages 18 and younger who are uninsured and Medicaid-eligible.

The Tdap vaccine has been studied very carefully and is safe. The CDC and FDA continue to monitor the safety of vaccines including the Tdap vaccination. The CDC uses 3 systems to monitor the safety of vaccines including the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), Vaccines Safety Datalink (VSD), and the Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment Project (CISA). The vaccine can cause mild side effects like redness and soreness in the arm where the shot was given.

The meningococcal vaccine helps protect against a bacteria that can cause meningococcal disease. The infections are rare but can be very dangerous. 10-15 people out of 100 with meningococcal disease die. The meningococcal vaccine is the best way to protect teens and pre-teens from getting meningococcal disease. In Ohio, the meningococcal vaccine is required for entry into the 7th and 12th grades.

The Meningococcal ACWY immunization protects against four groups of bacteria (A, C, W, and Y) that commonly cause disease. The Meningococcal B vaccine protects against the B group of bacteria that commonly causes disease. It is completely safe to receive both immunizations during the same visit.

All 11 to 12 year olds should be vaccinated with a single dose of a meningococcal ACWY vaccine. Older teens need a second shot when they are 16 years old so they stay protected when their risk is the highest. Meningococcal B is given to anyone 16 through 23 years old to provide short term protection against most strains of serogroup B meningococcal disease; 16 through 18 years are the preferred ages for vaccination.

Meningococcal bacteria can be spread from person to person through saliva, most commonly through coughing or kissing. It can spread quickly when people are living in close quarters like college dorms. Vaccination is needed before exposure.

The meningoccal vaccine has been studied very carefully and is safe. The CDC and FDA continue to monitor the safety of vaccines including all the meningococcal vaccinations available. The CDC uses 3 systems to monitor the safety of vaccines including the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), Vaccines Safety Datalink (VSD), and the Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment Project (CISA). The vaccine can cause mild side effects like redness and soreness where the shot was given.

Most insurance companies cover the meningococcal ACWY vaccine. Ask your doctor about the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program, which provides vaccines for children ages 18 and younger who are uninsured and Medicaid-eligible.

Influenza is an illness that infects the nose, throat and lungs. It spreads easily and quickly when infected people cough or sneeze. The flu can be mild or severe and, in some cases, cause death. It’s important for children to receive the flu vaccine not only to protect themselves, but to protect others whose bodies may not be able to fight the virus, including infants, the elderly and people with chronic health problems.

Because different strains of the flu circulate every year, it’s important to get a new vaccine each year

You cannot get the flu from the flu shot. The immunization may cause mild symptoms, like soreness and a low fever, but that is not influenza. These symptoms usually go away a day or two after vaccination.

The flu vaccine has been studied very carefully and is safe. The CDC and FDA continue to monitor the safety of vaccines including all the influenza vaccinations available annually (as with each year the prevalence of different strains change). The CDC uses 3 systems to monitor the safety of vaccines including the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), Vaccines Safety Datalink (VSD), and the Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment Project (CISA). The immunization may cause mild symptoms, like soreness and a low fever, but that is not influenza. These symptoms usually go away a day or two after vaccination. You cannot get the flu from the flu shot.

Both types of flu shot have been studied carefully and are safe. The CDC and FDA continue to monitor the safety of vaccines including all the influenza vaccinations available annually (as with each year the prevalence of different strains change). The CDC uses 3 systems to monitor the safety of vaccines including the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), Vaccines Safety Datalink (VSD), and the Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment Project (CISA). Talk to your doctor about which one is best for your child. Children, preteens and teens with chronic health conditions, like asthma, diabetes, or heart disease should NOT get the nasal spray vaccine and instead get the injectable (shot).

The flu shot is very affordable. Most insurances pay for the vaccine without a co-pay. Ask your doctor about the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program, which provides vaccines for children ages 18 and younger who are uninsured and Medicaid-eligible.

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