Vaccines at 13 to 18 Years

13 to 18 year old kids

Vaccinations are safe and effective for children to receive at the recommended ages.

CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccination for everyone aged 6 months and older. If your child has not gotten vaccinated yet, talk to his or her doctor about getting it as soon as possible.

Vaccines your teen should get

Your child is now a busy teenager hitting exciting new milestones and showing more independence. But as a parent, you still want to make sure they’re healthy and safe. That’s why it’s still important to make sure they stay on track with vaccinations.

Your teen should receive vaccines to help protect against the following diseases:

Vaccines your child may have missed

Now is a good time to catch up on any missed vaccines. Make an appointment if your teen needs vaccines for any of the following diseases:

Meningococcal disease (MenACWY)


Vaccines and travel

Traveling internationally is a great opportunity for many teens. But some locations require vaccinations. Be sure to find out vaccine recommendations and requirements for the travel destination.

Start preparing at least four to six weeks before the trip so your child has enough time to complete any necessary vaccine series and build up immunity.

Vaccines for college

Before your child enters college, a technical school, or university, check that his or her vaccinations are up to date. These include childhood, preteen, and teen vaccinations.

Protect against meningococcal disease

Risk for meningococcal disease in college students is slightly higher than the risk in other teens and young adults who are not attending college. Two vaccines help protect against meningococcal disease.

Meningococcal conjugate (MenACWY) vaccine:

  • This vaccine helps protect against four types of the bacteria that causes meningococcal disease: serogroups A, C, W, and Y.
  • Many states recommend and several states require that some college students receive MenACWY vaccination.
  • CDC routinely recommends MenACWY vaccination at 11-12 years old, with a booster dose at 16.
  • CDC also recommends MenACWY vaccination for first-year college students living in residence halls who are unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated.

Serogroup B meningococcal (MenB) vaccine:

  • This vaccine helps protect against one type of the bacteria that causes meningococcal disease: serogroup B.
  • College campuses have reported outbreaks of serogroup B meningococcal disease in recent years.
  • CDC routinely recommends MenB vaccination for people at increased risk during serogroup B meningococcal disease outbreaks.
  • CDC also recommends that teens may get a MenB vaccine, preferably at 16 through 18 years old. The decision to get this vaccine should be based on a discussion between the parent(s) and the healthcare provider.

Pentavalent meningococcal (MenABCWY) vaccine:

  • This vaccine helps protect against five types of the bacteria that causes meningococcal disease: serogroups A, B, C, W, and Y.
  • This vaccine can be used when someone is planning to get MenACWY and MenB vaccines at the same visit.

After a vaccination

Sometimes people have mild reactions from vaccines, called side effects. After your child gets a vaccination, some people, including preteens, might experience the following:

  • Redness and soreness: Placing a cool, damp cloth on the vaccinated area to help reduce redness and/or soreness where the shot was given.
  • Fainting after getting a shot: Fainting after any vaccine is more common among adolescents. Sitting or lying down when getting a shot and then for about 15 minutes after the shot, can help prevent fainting.

Serious side effects are rare. To learn more about the possible side effects, read the Vaccine Information Sheet(s).

Call 911 if you think your child might be having a severe allergic reaction after leaving the vaccination site.

What vaccines does my child need?
Follow the vaccine schedule

See which vaccines your child needs to stay on-track with routine vaccinations.

Birth to 6 years

7 to 18 years

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Take a short quiz to get a list of vaccines your child may need based on their age, health conditions, and other factors.

Child vaccine quiz