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Vaccine Checklist for Preteens and Teens

Why Should My Preteen Get the HPV Vaccine?

Having a vaccine that protects against certain types of cancer is a big deal. While some parents are concerned that getting the HPV vaccine will open the door to sexual activity, studies have shown that this simply isn't true. What is true is that the vaccine works best in people who haven't been infected with HPV. That's why it's so important to vaccinate children young -- well before they're sexually active.
 

When Should My Child Receive It?

The HPV vaccine is recommended for children at age 11 or 12. It is also recommended for teenagers and young adults age 13 to 21 who didn't get all three doses.
 
Females 21 through 26 years old who haven't started or never completed the three-dose series should also be vaccinated. The vaccine is recommended for males ages 21 through 26 if they have not already received the vaccine and have sex with other men or have a weakened immune system.
 
(Click The HPV Vaccine for Teens and Preteens to learn more about the HPV vaccine, including information about the two different vaccines available.)
 

Meningococcal Vaccine

Meningococcal disease is any infection caused by a type of bacteria known as Neisseria meningitidis (or simply meningococcus). You've probably heard of meningococcal meningitis, which most people simply call meningitis. Meningococcal meningitis occurs when the lining of the brain and spinal cord become infected with meningococcus. However, meningococcus can cause other serious infections as well, including a severe blood infection.
 
Meningococcus is spread when a person comes in contact with tiny respiratory droplets or spit that contain the bacteria from an infected person. This could happen by kissing someone who is infected, or if someone who is infected coughs or sneezes on you.
 
Children and young adults are especially susceptible to meningococcal disease. College students living in dorms also have an increased risk, as the infection can spread rapidly among people who live in close contact with one another.
 
There are several types of Neisseria meningitides. The meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4) protects against four of the five major types. It is extremely effective at preventing meningococcal disease.
 
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