Immunizations are an important part of protecting the health of your preteen or teen. Vaccinations during the preteen/teen years are important because over time, the protection provided by childhood vaccines can decrease. Preteens and teens are also at risk for different diseases as they get older.
Four (4) vaccines are routinely recommended for preteens and teens. These vaccines protect against serious, sometimes life-threatening diseases.
Pertussis (whooping cough; http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/disease listing/pertussis/)
Meningococcal infection (http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/disease listing/meningococcal/)
Human papillomavirus (HPV; http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/disease listing/human papillomavirus-hpv/)
Influenza (flu; http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/disease listing/influenza-flu/)
Information about these vaccines and the diseases they prevent is also attached. While no vaccine is 100% effective at preventing disease, the best way to protect your preteen or teen from these diseases is through vaccination.
Like any medication, vaccines can sometimes cause side effects. The side effects from vaccines are almost always minor (such as redness and swelling where the shot was given) and go away within a few days. Serious side effects after vaccination, such as severe allergic reactions, are very rare. Before getting vaccinated, we encourage you to tell your healthcare provider if your child has any severe allergies and discuss any questions you might have.
Vaccinating your preteen or teen will protect them from serious diseases and help prevent the spread of these diseases in our schools and communities. Please join our commitment to healthy children and healthy communities.
Sarah Y. Park, M.D., F.A.A.P.,