Vaccines at 13 to 18 Years
Vaccinations are safe and effective for children to receive at the recommended ages.
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:
Flu is a respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. Flu spreads easily and can cause serious illness, especially in children younger than 5 years and children of any age with certain chronic conditions including asthma. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every year ideally by the end of October.
See Related: Flu vaccination
2nd dose of 2
Meningococcal disease can refer to any illness caused by a type of bacteria called Neisseria meningitidis. Meningococcal disease can be serious, even deadly. The meningococcal vaccine called MenACWY protects against four types of the bacteria that cause meningococcal disease (serogroups A, C, W, and Y).
See Related: Meningococcal vaccination
Meningococcal disease can refer to any illness caused by a type of bacteria called Neisseria meningitidis. These bacteria can cause meningococcal meningitis and bloodstream infections, which can be serious, even deadly. Meningococcal B vaccine, or MenB vaccine, can help protect against one type of the bacteria that causes meningococcal disease (serogroup B).
See Related: Meningococcal vaccination
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:
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 protects against four types of the bacteria that cause meningococcal disease (serogroups A, C, W, and Y).
- Many states recommend and several states require that some college students receive MenACWY vaccination.
- CDC recommends MenACWY vaccination for first-year college students living in residence halls.
Serogroup B meningococcal (MenB) vaccine:
- This vaccine protects against serogroup B meningococcal disease.
- College campuses have reported outbreaks of serogroup B meningococcal disease in recent years.
- CDC recommends MenB vaccination for people at increased risk during serogroup B meningococcal disease outbreaks.
Learn more about meningococcal disease in college settings.
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.