Changes to Immunization Schedule for Teenagers

The new year brings with it changes to the immunization recommendations. For teenagers, the change involves the meningococcal vaccine. The one we use is called Menactra. For many years, this vaccine has been recommended for 11-12 year olds, which is when the risk of the disease begins to go up. Originally we were told (and we told you) that this one shot would carry them through college, when the risk goes down. Now it looks like the immunity fades faster that we thought. The new recommendation is to get the Menactra at 11-12 as before but then to get a booster shot at 16 years old. If the child got their Menactra at 13-15 years old for some reason, they should get their booster at 16-18 years old. If your child is 16 or older, it is likely they need a booster soon.

Recommendations that have not changed are for the Tetanus shot with pertussis (whooping cough), the HPV (cervical cancer) vaccine and the flu shots for everyone.