Stepping into teenage - Get vaccinated too

  • By Dr. T Deepa Porkodi

Here, we give you a list of the few vaccines that your child will be better off taking, especially if he or she is entering in their teenage years.

  1. Tdap -
    Tetanus, Diphtheria Toxoids, and Acellular Pertussis Vaccine is given to children of 11-12 years of age who have completed their childhood series of DTP vaccines and have not received a Tetanus, Diphtheria toxoid booster. If having missed at 11-12 years, kids aged 13-18 years should also receive it, provided they have completed their childhood DTP schedule.
    This new vaccine was introduced as it was seen that the childhood DTP vaccine gave protection against pertussis only for 10 years. Teenaged children often had no protection and hence developed severe whooping cough that lasted about 3 weeks known as adult pertussis syndrome.
    This new vaccine helps protect against pertussis and also prevents the spread of pertussis in the community.

  2. HPV -
    Human Papilloma Virus has a clinically proven link to cervical cancer. Chronic untreated infection with HPV leads to cancerous changes in the cervix. Hence the idea of a HPV vaccine. This vaccine works best when administered at a young age.
    The 1st dose is given at the age of 11-12 years, the 2nd dose is 2 months after that, and the 3rd dose is 6 months after the 1st dose.
    The HPV vaccine may be given to any child between 13-18 years who have not been vaccinated. Young adults in the 18-26 years age group should also be vaccinated.
    With this vaccine being able to prevent 75% of cervical cancers, medical experts are pinning their hopes on it to reduce the need for Pap smears in the future.

  3. Meningococcal Vaccine -
    This vaccine is recommended for kids in the 11-12 years age group. If not previously vaccinated, then a child of 15 years entering high school or college is also recommended to get vaccinated.