Vaccinating Your Teen for the School Year

What they need, what's suggested and when to take them to the doc



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You were probably vigilant about your kid's doctor visits when they were young. But are you up-to-date on the important vaccinations they may need in their tween and teen years?

What’s required: Kids and teens in grade 6 or higher must get three doses of Diphtheria, Tetanus and Acellular Pertussis (DTaP) vaccine, plus the same number of Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IVP) and Hepatitis B. They must also get two doses of Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) and one each of Varicella (chickenpox) and Meningococcal vaccines. A PDF of the complete K-12 vaccination schedule can be downloaded at nj.gov/health.

What’s recommended: The American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) immunization schedule includes an update to reflect the availability of a two-dose immunization for Human Papillomavirus (HPV) starting before teens turn 15. For patients who start the series after they turn 15, the AAP recommends a total of three doses. And it no longer suggests the nasal spray version of the flu vaccine because of poor effectiveness. Meanwhile, the AAP is stressing the need for a Meningococcal Conjugate Vaccine (MenACWY) booster for 16-year-olds.

Some schools have recently updated vaccination requirements. Contact your teen’s school directly to make sure he’s up-to-date on immunizations.

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