Make sure your preteens and teens are protected.
Vaccines work best when they are given on time. We recommend all preteens and teens get the following vaccines to protect against serious diseases.
At 11 years old
We recommend all preteens get the following vaccines.
- Meningococcal vaccine: Meningococcal vaccine protects against a type of bacteria that can cause serious illnesses. The two most common types of illnesses are meningitis and bloodstream infections. All preteens and teens need two doses. The first dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine or MenACWY should be given at 11 years old and the second dose at 16 years old.
Meningococcal serogroup B vaccine or Men B may be given to people 10 years old and older who are at risk due to certain health conditions and adolescents 16-18 years old because of certain exposures. Talk to your doctor about this vaccine.
- HPV vaccine: HPV vaccine protects both girls and boys from future infections that can lead to certain types of cancer. The HPV vaccine works better if given sooner rather than later. Younger adolescents need two doses, but older teens need three doses to get the same protection. HPV vaccine may be given as young as 9 years.
- Tdap vaccine: Tdap vaccine protects against three serious diseases: tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough). All preteens need one dose at age 11 years. After that, they will need a tetanus-diphtheria (Td) or Tdap booster dose every 10 years.
At 16 years old
We recommend teens get a booster dose of meningococcal vaccine (MenACWY).
At 16-18 years old
Teens may also get the serogroup B meningococcal vaccine (Men B). Any teen who wants protection from serogroup B meningococcal disease may get the vaccine. Talk to your doctor about this vaccine. Two doses are needed for the best protection.
All preteens and teens
We recommend all preteens and teens get an influenza vaccine each year. Influenza vaccine helps protect against seasonal influenza. Even healthy preteens and teens can get very sick from influenza and spread it to others. The best time to get an annual influenza vaccine is before influenza begins causing illness in your community, ideally before the end of October. Influenza vaccination is beneficial as long as influenza viruses are circulating, which often continues well into the spring.
COVID-19 vaccine protects against COVID-19, a respiratory disease that can cause severe illness in some people. Everyone 5 years and older should get a COVID-19 vaccine. Visit the CDC website for current recommendations on primary series and booster doses. CDC provides guidance on quarantine, testing and masking for fully vaccinated people, including preteens and teens, on their website.
Preteen and teens may need other vaccines. Check with your doctor to see if your child needs additional vaccines.
Parents can view their child’s record in MyMarshfieldClinic to see which vaccines their child needs.
Additional information about vaccinations for preteens and teens is available from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
Preteen and teen vaccines FAQ
Are adolescent vaccines safe?
Adolescent vaccines have been studied very carefully and are very safe. They must pass rigorous safety studies before approval, and the safety of each vaccine continues to be checked after they are approved using multiple systems. These vaccines can cause mild side effects like soreness or redness in the part of the arm where the vaccine is given. These reactions usually get better on their own within a few days. Some preteens and teens might faint after getting a vaccine. Sitting or lying down for about 15 minutes after getting the vaccine can help prevent fainting. Serious side effects are possible, but are rare. There is a great deal of misinformation about vaccines on the internet. Talk to your doctor or for accurate online information visit: www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/concerns/.
Why vaccinate my preteen for HPV?
Vaccines protect your child before they are exposed to a disease. Preteens make more antibodies in response to HPV vaccination than older teens, which translate into better protection. This is why younger adolescents need fewer doses than older teens to get the same protection.
Why do boys need HPV vaccine?
HPV vaccine can help protect against future infection that can lead to cancers of the penis, anus, mouth and throat in men. Cancer of the mouth and throat is the most common cancer caused by HPV in men and women. A preteen boy who receives HPV vaccine can also protect his future spouse.
How do you know the HPV vaccine works?
Studies continue to show HPV vaccine works extremely well, decreasing the number of infections and HPV precancers in young people since it has been available. Children who receive two doses of HPV vaccine by age 14 have much lower rates of cervical precancer and genital warts than those who are vaccinated later or have not received the vaccine.