Does Your Back-to-School List Include Vaccines?

Pregnancy & Postpartum


Back-to-school tasks for parents of preteens and teens often include stocking up on school supplies, buying new clothes, coordinating extracurricular activities and organizing fall schedules. This time also presents a great opportunity to talk with your child’s health care professional about recommended vaccines for your preteen and teen boys and girls.

Many parents know to vaccinate their children when they are younger, but some parents don’t know there are vaccines that are also recommended for older children. As children get older and become preteens and teens they can be at risk for diseases for which vaccines are available. Children tend to have fewer regular visits with their health care professional as they get older, so annual back-to-school checkups or sports physicals can be an opportunity to ask about vaccines. 

“It’s a common misconception that children only need school-required vaccinations, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends vaccines for preteens and teens even beyond the ones required by many schools,” says Beth Battaglino, RN, and CEO of HealthyWomen. 

Even for healthy preteens, teens and adults, the CDC recommends up to nine vaccines. “Some serious diseases can make even strong and healthy people sick, so while some may think that all they need to do to stay healthy is eat right and exercise, staying up-to-date with the CDC-recommended vaccines is an important factor in helping to maintain health and wellness across a lifetime,” says Battaglino. 

By increasing awareness and education about vaccines, people can help protect themselves and their loved ones from certain diseases. Vaccines help prevent more than 30 diseases worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. To help prevent more than 15 diseases, the CDC recommends specific vaccination schedules that cover children, preteens, teens and adults. LifetimeOfVaccines.com is a website to help people learn the importance of vaccination across a lifetime.

To learn more about vaccines recommended throughout a person’s lifetime, talk to your health care professional.

This information is provided by Merck.

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