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Adolescent immunization


Experts recommend that all adolescents should have MEASLES, MUMPS, rubella (GERMAN) MEASLES, TETANUS, POLIO, and DIPHTHERIA immunizations. Teenagers with diabetes or chronic heart, lung, liver, or kidney disorders need protection against INFLUENZA and PNEUMONIA. CHICKEN POX vaccine is recommended for those not previously vaccinated who have no reliable history of the disease. HEPATITIS B vaccine is indicated for all adolescents up to age 18 who have not been vaccinated before. Hepatitis A vaccine is recommended for adolescents traveling to or working in countries where the disease is common, and for those living in communities with outbreaks of the disease. It is also recommended for adolescents who have chronic liver disease or clotting-factor disorders, use illegal injection drugs, or are male homosexuals. Adolescents not previously vaccinated against measles, mumps, and rubella with two doses of MMR VACCINE require these. During childhood, teens should have received the DTaP vaccine against tetanus, diphtheria, and polio. Immunization against tetanus and diphtheria (Td vaccine) should be supplemented with a booster shot at age 11 or 12, and every 10 years thereafter. One dose of chicken pox vaccine is recommended for adolescents 11 or 12 years of age (or two doses for those 13 or older) if there is no proof of prior chicken pox disease or immunization. The flu shot or nasal spray should be given each year to all adolescents—especially those at high risk for complications associated with influenza. High-risk teens should not be given the nasal spray version of the vaccine, however. Immunization against pneumococcal disease is recommended for adolescents with certain chronic diseases who are at increased risk for pneumonia or its complications; a booster dose is recommended 10 years after the initial dose for this group. As with any medicine, there are very small risks that serious problems could occur after getting a vaccine. However, the potential risks associated with the diseases that these vaccines prevent are much greater than the potential risks associated with the vaccines themselves.

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