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Adolescent Immunization Schedule

August 9th, 2012

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends 4 vaccines for adolescents.

1)  Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria, Acellular Pertussis).

There were nearly 17,000 cases of pertussis in the US in 2009.  Of those 17,000 cases, 4265 occurred among 10-19 year olds. By adolescence, immunity from childhood Dtap vaccines has waned.  Increasing immunization rates among adolescents is an important strategy to reduce pertussis disease among both adolescents and infants too young to be fully immunized.

2)  Meningococcal Conjugate Vaccine (Menactra)

Rates of meningococcal disease are the lowest they have ever been in the US, however, there are approximately 1000 cases of meningitis reported each year in this country.  Each case is alarming and can be potentially fatal.  The incidence of meningitis increases in adolescence and early adulthood.  Approximately 10-15% of adolescents who contract meningitis will die, and about 20% will suffer a long term disability.

 3)  Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine (Gardasil, Cervarix)

Cervical cancer, caused by HPV, is one of the most common cancers in women.  Every year in the US, approximately 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer, and approximately 4,000  women die from this disease.  There are over 100 types of HPV.  HPV types 16 and 18 are the most common high risk types associated with cervical cancer, while HPV types 6 and 11 are the most common low risk types associated with genital and respiratory tract warts.  High risk HPV types have also been associated with other less common cancers and pre-cancers in women, such as vaginal, anal, oral cancers and dysplasia. HPV associated cancers in males include certain anal, penile, and oral cancers.

4)  Influenza Vaccine

The CDC recommends annual flu vaccinations for everyone 6 months of age and older.  Influenza, “the flu”, can be serious, and even fatal.  Adolescents with certain medical conditions, such as asthma, heart disease, diabetes, are more likely to suffer from serious flu complications.

Vaccine Recommendations

1)  All 11-18 year olds should receive a single dose of Tdap vaccine, preferably at 11-12 years old.

2)  All 11-12 year olds should receive a single dose of meningococcal vaccine, with a booster at 16 years old.

3)  All 11-12 year olds should receive 3 doses of HPV vaccine.  This vaccine is recommended between the ages of 9-26 years old.

4)  Adolescents should receive a single dose of influenza vaccine every year, ideally in the autumn months.

Vaccine Informational Websites for Parents and Caregivers

1)  American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) - www.aap.org/immunization

2)  Centers for Disease Control (CDC) - www.cdc.gov/vaccines

3)  Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) - www.immunize.org

4)  National Network for Immunization Information (NNii) - www.immunizationinfo.org

5)  Parents of Kids with Infectious Diseases (PKIDs) - www.pkids.org

Submitted by Vona Lantz, CPNP

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