Preteens & Adolescents

Recommended Vaccines

DiseaseDescriptionVaccine
Pertussis (Whooping Cough)Pertussis (whooping cough) is highly contagious and causes severe coughing fits. The coughing can cause your preteen or teen to miss weeks of school, sports, and social activities.The Tdap vaccine protects against three serious diseases: tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. All preteens should receive one Tdap shot at age 11 or 12 years.
Meningococcal InfectionMeningococcal infection can be very serious, even deadly. Even with antibiotic treatment, about 1 in 10 people with meningococcal disease will die from it. About 20% of survivors will have long-lasting disabilities, such as loss of limb or brain damage.The meningococcal vaccines protect against some types of bacteria that cause meningococcal disease.

All preteens should receive the quadrivalent conjugate meningococcal vaccine when they are 11 or 12 years old and need a booster shot at age 16 years.

Teens (preferably at age 16 - 18 years) may also be vaccinated with a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV)HPV is a common virus that has many different strains or types. HPV infection can cause cervical cancer in women and penile cancer in men. HPV can also cause anal cancer, throat cancer, and genital warts in both men and women.All preteens should receive HPV vaccine when they are 11 or 12 years old. Two shots, given at least 6 months apart, are needed for children who receive the first dose before their 15th birthday. Three doses are needed for adolescents who start the series later.
InfluenzaInfluenza or “flu” is a contagious infection of the nose, throat, and lungs. Flu can cause mild to severe illness, and in some cases can cause death.All preteens and teens should be vaccinated against flu each year, ideally by the end of October. Vaccination during the flu season, even in January or later, is recommended for those who weren’t vaccinated earlier.

These vaccines are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Information for Parents

Why do Preteens and Teens Need to be Vaccinated?

Vaccines are not just for infants. As children get older, the protection provided by childhood vaccines can wear off. Preteens and teens are also at risk for different diseases as they get older.

When Should Preteens and Teens be Vaccinated?

Healthcare providers recommend several vaccines for preteens at their 11 or 12 year old check-up.  These vaccines prevent serious, sometimes life-threatening diseases. Older teens who weren’t vaccinated earlier should be immunized as soon as possible.

How Can Parents Help?

Help your preteen or teen stay healthy by keeping up-to-date on recommended immunizations. Make an appointment with your child’s healthcare provider today.

Are these Vaccines Safe and Effective?

All of these vaccines have been studied extensively and are safe and effective. Preteens and teens may experience mild side effects such as redness and soreness at the injection site.

Some preteens and teens may faint after getting vaccinated. To help avoid fainting, preteens and teens should sit or lie down when they get a shot and for about 15 minutes after.

Can I Get Help Paying for Vaccines?

Ask your child’s healthcare provider about the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program. The VFC program provides vaccines for children ages 18 years and younger, who are uninsured, Medicaid-eligible, or American Indian or Alaska Native.

Where Can I Get More Information?

For more information, talk to your preteen or teen’s healthcare provider or call the Department of Health Immunization Branch at 586-8332 (Oahu) or 1-800-933-4832 (Neighbor Islands).  If your preteen or teen does not have a healthcare provider or health insurance, call 2-1-1, Aloha United Way’s information and referral line.

Information for Preteens

Activate your Immune Platoon to fight against nasty sometimes deadly diseases by getting vaccinated at your 11 or 12 year old check-up. Vaccinations help your immune system to fight certain diseases. Click here to learn how the Immune Platoon works to keep you healthy. Talk to your parents about making an appointment with your doctor to get your vaccinations.

Personal Stories of Parents Who Have Lost Children
and Teens to Vaccine Preventable Diseases

Meningitis: In Memory of Ryan Milley
Pertussis: Newborn’s Death Emphasizes Need to Consider Pertussis in Differential Diagnosis of Coughing Adults
Human Papillomavirus (HPV): HPV Vaccine Has Potential to Reduce Worldwide Cancer Deaths by more than 200,000
Influenza: Unprotected people—Influenza ends Martin McGowan’s life

Information for Healthcare Providers

Hawaii Preteen Immunization Brochure
Hawaii Preteen Immunization Poster
Vaccine Information Statements (VIS) about each vaccine
NIS Teen Data for youth 13–17 years old
The Community Guide—interventions to increase the use of universally recommended vaccines

Last reviewed October 2017