Some kids, as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention poster puts it, “think Meningitis is a band from the ’80s.” Not. Meningitis is just one of the serious diseases your pre-teen or teen needs protection from.
That’s right; vaccines aren’t just for infants and toddlers. Here’s why:
- Vaccine protection from some diseases wears off by the teen years. Your child may require a booster shot.
- Older kids are more at risk for diseases such as meningitis than younger children are.
- Recommended vaccines change over time because of new research and the development of new, more effective vaccines.
- Certain vaccines, like HPV, will protect your child once he or she reaches adulthood.
Does my child really need the HPV vaccine?
Here are the facts: The human papillomavirus (HPV) leads to HPV-related cancers in about 17,000 women and 9,000 men each year in this country. Those cancers include throat, anal, and penis cancer in men; and cervix, vulva, and vagina cancer in women. There is routine screening for cervical cancer, but not for the other cancers. That’s why the HPV vaccine is so important.
The HPV vaccine is recommended for preteen boys and girls at age 11 or 12, and it’s completely safe. According to the CDC, around 57 million doses have been given around the world to date, with no serious safety concerns.
Ask your child’s doctor if your child is up to date on his or her vaccines. For more information on teens and vaccines, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/who/teens/. To see recommended vaccine schedules, go to www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules.
Any fun but effective incentive you can share that actually got your teen excited about an upcoming vaccine at the doctor’s office?