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Preteens and Teens Ages 7 Through 18

Your child’s vaccinations protect them from getting serious and even deadly diseases. Getting your child vaccinated also helps keep the rest of your family and your community healthy.

On this page, you'll find answers to common questions about vaccines for preteens and teens.

Which vaccines are recommended for preteens and teens ages 7 through 18?

In addition to catching up on or getting additional doses of childhood vaccines, preteens and teens also need vaccines to help protect them from infections that can cause:

  • Meningitis (inflammation of the brain and spinal cord)
  • Cancer caused by HPV (human papillomavirus)
  • Whooping cough
  • Flu

Check this easy-to-read vaccine schedule (PDF - 208KB) from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to find out which vaccines are recommended for preteens and teens ages 7 through 18.

Some preteens or teens may need additional vaccines — for example, if they’ll be traveling outside the United States. Learn more about vaccines for:

Why does my child need more doses of some vaccines?

Your child will need additional doses for many of the vaccines they received in early childhood. This helps make sure the vaccine continues to protect your teen from getting sick.

It’s important to get every dose of each vaccine to make sure your child gets the best protection possible. For most vaccines, your child can easily catch up on missed vaccines. If your child misses a dose, talk with your child’s pediatrician about how to catch up.

What about side effects?

Common side effects from vaccines include pain, swelling, or redness where the shot was given. Serious side effects from vaccines are very rare.

Some preteens and teens may faint after they get vaccinated, so doctors recommend that they sit or lay down for 15 minutes after the shot. Giving your child something to eat or drink before getting vaccinated — and reassuring your child about the vaccination — may help prevent fainting.

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Last reviewed: December 2017