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You might think immunizations are for younger kids, and for that most part, that's true. But if you were never vaccinated as a child, you are at risk for disease. And since immunity begings to fade over time, you may need a booster shot for some vaccines. 


The health department conducts routine immunizations for adolescents depending on the individual's need.  Immunizations at the department may include some or all of the following:


Tetanus diphtheria / Tetanus diphtheria and pertussis (Td/Tdap):

Tetanus is an acute, often fatal disease that occurs worldwide. It affects the central nervous system, producing stiffness or muscular rigidity. Tetanus can be localized, with muscle contractions in the part of the body where the infection began, or it can be generalized, affecting the whole body. About 80 percent of reported tetanus cases are generalized. The incubation period ranges from 2 to 50 days, but symptoms usually occur 5 to 10 days after infection. The shorter the incubation period, the greater the chance of death.


Diphtheria is a bacterial illness you acquire from contact with an infected person. Signs and symptoms include a thick covering in the back of the throat that can make it hard to breathe, and can lead to breathing problems, heart failure, and death.


Pertussis (Whooping Cough) is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection. Although most children are protected against pertussis by vaccination during childhood, immunity wanes over time and leaves adolescents unprotected.


Recommended vaccine schedule for all adolescents is once every ten years. In the event of an injury the vaccine may be administered at five-year intervals.


Hepatitis B (Hep B):

Hepatitis B is a serious liver disease caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). The virus can affect people of all ages, and some people are never able to rid themselves of the virus. This long-term HBV infection can lead to liver cirrhosis, liver cancer and death. The virus is found in the blood and body fluids of infected people and is most often spread among adolescents through sexual contact or by sharing needles and other drug paraphernalia with an infected person.  HBV-infected persons can spread it at home, and moms can pass the virus to an infant during birth.


Adolescents considered at risk are advised to take a series of three injections administered in the following manner: 

  • An initial dose
  • Second dose 2 months following initial dose
  • Third dose six months after the initial dose


Hepatitis A (Hep A):


Hepatitis A , (formerly known as infectious hepatitis), is an acute infectious disease of the liver caused by Hepatitis A virus, most commonly transmitted by the fecal-oral route via contaminated food or drinking water.The time between infection and the appearance of the symptoms, (the incubation period), is between two and six weeks and the average incubation period is 28 days. Every year, approximately 10 million people worldwide are infected with the virus. 

Adolescents considered at risk are advised to take a  series of two injections administered in the following manner:

  • An initial dose
  • One dose six months after the initial dose


Human Papillomavirus (HPV):

A human papillomavirus (HPV) infects the skin and mucous membranes. Approximately 130 HPV types have been identified. Some HPV types can cause warts (verrucae) or cancer, while others have no symptoms.

Adolescent females  considered at risk are advised to take  a series of three injections administered in the following manner:

  • An initial dose
  • Second dose 2 months following initial dose
  • Third dose six months after the initial dose

 (Vaccines not approved for males at this time)

Influenza (Flu):

The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccination each year. Influenza (the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses and  can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. On average 5% to 20% of the population gets the flu every year in the U. S.; more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu complications, and about 36,000 people die from flu. Older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions are at high risk for serious flu complications.


Vaccination against the influenza virus is recommended annually. These vaccinations are tailored to protect recipients against the most predominant influenza strains as determined by the World Health Organization (WHO).



Meningococcal disease is a severe bacterial infection of the bloodstream or meninges (a thin lining covering the brain and spinal cord) caused by the meningococcus germ. Anyone can get meningococcal disease, but it is more common in infants and children. For some adolescents, such as first-year college students living in dormitories, there is an increased risk of this disease. Every year in the U.S. approximately 2,500 people are infected and 300 die from the disease. If you live in a household  a person known to have had this disease, have a compromised immune system or travel to parts of the world where meningococcal meningitis is prevalent, you are at greater risk.


Adolescent Immunization Schedule

High-risk group vaccines



Catch-up vaccines



Scheduled Vaccines



Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Recommended Vaccination Schedule for Adolescents (11 - 18 years of age)

Pneumococcal polysaccharide

Adolescents at increased risk of pneumococcal disease or its complications.

1 dose


Adolescents at increased risk of complications from influenza or who have contact with high risk individuals; anyone who wants to reduce the likelihood of getting influenza

1 dose

Hepatitis A

Adolescents at increased risk of hepatitis A or its complications

2 doses

Hepatitis B

Adolescents not previously vaccinated

2-3 doses depending on specific vaccine.

Inactivated poliovirus (IPV)

Adolescents not previously vaccinated

4 doses

Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR)

Adolescents not previously vaccinated

2 doses


Adolescents without immunity to varicella

2 doses


  • Routine vaccinations for adolescents 11-18 years of age, with pre-adolescent visits at 11-12 years of age being the best time to vaccinate.
  • College freshmen living in dormitories, if not previously vaccinated, and
  • Other persons at increased risk for meningococcal disease.

1 dose

Tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis (Tdap)

A Tdap booster vaccine to replace tetanus and diphtheria (Td) vaccine

1 dose at 11-12 years of age.
1 dose at 13-18 years of age if the 11-12 years of age dose was missed.

Human papillomavirus (HPV)

Female adolescents 11-12 years of age not previously vaccinated

3 doses for females
Females should receive the first dose at 11-12 years of age; the second dose 2 months after the first; the third dose six months after the first. Administer to females 13-18 years of age, if not previously vaccinated.


For more information about medical conditions, lifestyles, travel and other factors that may increase an adolescent's risk of hepatitis A, consult the CDC Website at