Frequently Asked Questions about adolescent immunization
What immunizations do teens need?
It is recommended that teens receive the following immunizations if they have not already received them:
- 2 doses of a measles-containing vaccine (usually MMR)
- 2 doses of varicella (chickenpox) vaccine for children 13+ years, if they have not previously been vaccinated or had the disease
- 2 doses of hepatitis A vaccine
- 3 doses of hepatitis B vaccine
- 1 tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis (Tdap)
- 3 doses of human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV)
- 1 dose of meningococcal vaccine
In addition, the following vaccines may be recommended for adolescents who have chronic health conditions including asthma, diabetes mellitus, or who are immunosuppressed.
Check with your health care provider about the recommendations.
When should teens get these immunizations?
An adolescent health care visit is recommended at age 11-12. All of the immunizations an adolescent still needs should be started at that visit. However, children can get many of the recommended immunizations before age 11.
Where can teens receive these immunizations?
Teens can go to their regular health care provider or public health clinics. Teens who are on Medicaid, who have no insurance, or who are American Indian or Alaskan Native can qualify for low cost vaccines through the Utah Vaccine for Children (VFC) Program. For information about the Utah VFC Program or to locate a VFC provider in your area, call the Utah Immunization Program at (801) 538-9450.
Why are immunizations important for teens?
Teens need immunizations to stay healthy. The diseases these vaccines protect against are not something a person outgrows. In fact, diseases like hepatitis A can affect children, adolescents and adults alike. The hepatitis A vaccine can be given to anyone 12 months of age and older. Chickenpox is also a disease that can affect children, adolescents and adults. However, it is more dangerous for an adolescent or adult to get chickenpox than children. Teens who have not had the chickenpox should be immunized.
Are immunizations required to attend school in Utah?
Immunizations are required by Utah law for all children who attend public, private, parochial, charter schools, and child care facilities, including Head Start programs. An exemption may be claimed for medical, religious, or personal reasons. All children must be immunized for diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and chickenpox. Additional immunizations may be required for certain grades, such as seventh grade students. Check with your school to be sure your student is up to date for all required immunizations.
Who says teens need immunizations?
All of the major medical associations agree than teens need immunizations to stay healthy, including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), the American Medical Association (AMA), and the U.S. Public Health Service's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).