Vaccines for Preteens: The Complete Guide

Getting vaccines for preteens is the best way to protect your young adolescents. Certain illnesses can come up during those years in your child’s life that are disabling at best and life-threatening at worst. 


Vaccines stop the unthinkable from happening. What vaccines are right for your preteen and when is the best time to get them? 


Diphtheria Disease

Diphtheria is a disease that causes extreme swelling in the throat. It’s passed through human contact, although not everyone who has it shows symptoms. 


If your child contracts diphtheria, you should seek medical help as soon as possible. While the disease is usually manageable, there have been some cases where the infection has caused irreparable harm. 


The best prevention against this disease is the Tdap vaccine that is typically administered between the ages of 11 and 13. This booster helps to reinforce the DTaP vaccine given earlier in your child’s life. They protect against whooping cough and tetanus as well.


Whooping cough is one of the most prevalent diseases we treat and manage. While it is more common among teens and pre-teens, it can be especially dangerous for unprotected newborns.


Human Papillomavirus

The next vaccine your preteen needs is for human papillomavirus, also known as HPV. This virus is transmitted through sexual intercourse, as well as hand-genital and genital-genital contact.  


Although most preteens are not sexually active, it is important to get them immunized early. Many patients who are not sexually active are infected with at least one strain of HPV. Around 80% of women contract at least one type of HPV in their lifetime, and 20% of those go on to develop cervical changes consistent with different stages of cervical cancer. The condition can be treated, but it can’t be cured. Sometimes it lasts for years and other times it lasts all your life. 


For children under 14, the vaccine is given in two doses. Those 15 and older require three doses, so it is recommended parents vaccinate early.


Meningococcal Disease


Meningitis is rare, but it can have serious complications, including seizures and organ failure. If it’s not treated, patients can suffer deafness, blindness, neurological damage or gangrene, which leads to amputations. 


While that sounds terrifying, the good news is that there is a vaccine! You can protect your child from all of that. The symptoms aren’t always easy to catch and the onset of the disease is fast. That’s why it’s so important to get your child vaccinated early. 


Your preteen needs MenACWY when they are 11 or 12 years old, and then a booster in their late teenage years. It’s often recommended they receive two doses of MenB at that time as well. These help protect against the most common and dangerous strands of the meningitis disease. Diseases don’t have to be scary when you’re prepared. 


Schedule Vaccines for Preteens Today

The immunizations listed above are so important for young adolescents. Their bodies are still developing and that puts them at risk for complications. Don’t wait for symptoms to show; get them vaccinated on time. 


Our team will help you schedule the right vaccines for your kids at the right times. We know which vaccines preteens and teenagers need. In fact, we’ll help the whole family stay up to date. Call for an appointment today!