Is your teen is up-to-date on their vaccines? If you don’t know, you’re not alone.
According to a recent poll, more than one-third of teens’ parents don’t know when their child’s next vaccine is due. Even more troubling, 90 percent of parents thought their teen had received all shots recommended for their age. In reality, vaccination rates for things like meningitis, human papillomavirus (HPV) and even the flu are well below public health targets.
“As children get older, families are less likely to schedule yearly checkups,” said Selma Winner, M.D., pediatrician with Norton Children’s Medical Associates – Springhurst. “Many teens may be missing out on important vaccines because families aren’t always aware it’s time for one. Vaccination is the best way to make sure our children are healthy and protected from preventable diseases.”
Need to know
Check out the latest CDC immunization schedule for children and teens.
Researchers say the lack of awareness may be the result of constantly changing vaccine guidelines. Additionally, parents may be less informed about recommended vaccinations for teens. This is because fewer states have vaccine requirements for high schoolers compared with kindergartners and middle school students.
Dr. Winner advises the best way to make sure your child, regardless of age, is properly vaccinated is to schedule a yearly wellness visit with their pediatrician.
“Your doctor is the best person to advise you which vaccines your child needs and to discuss any questions or concerns,” she said.
If your teen is a current Norton Children’s Medical Associates patient, you can schedule or change an appointment online. It’s easy through MyNortonChart.
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