This post was sponsored by Unity Consortium as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
I’m in denial that I have a teenager. It snuck up on me. I know they say it will do that but it’s still surprising when it happens. I felt like I had the baby and toddler years totally figured out, but the teen years are new territory for me. Even something simple like determining which vaccines my son needs now is a bit overwhelming. Most parents believe that vaccines are important but the actual vaccination rates for teens are well below what they should be.
I suspect it is because teen vaccines rates are lower for one reason: we are all so busy.
We read all the baby and parenting books when our kids were little and made sure we checked all the vaccines off the list at each well child checkup.
Big kids don’t have as my well checkups though. My teen only goes in to the doctor these days if he isn’t feeling well so teen vaccines just aren’t at the front of my mind.
A recent survey by Unity Consortium (United for Adolescent Vaccination) found that that attitude parents and teens have towards preventive health kept them from prioritizing vaccinations and other preventive health measures.
One out of four parents believe that teen vaccines are not as high of a priority as infant vaccines. As a mom of almost two teenagers, I want to make sure they have the care they need to stay healthy.
I know when my boys were little I stayed so on top of their recommended vaccine schedules but as they’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten a bit lax. Our schedule has gotten busier, my boys don’t seem as fragile, and so vaccine did not seem as urgent as they did when my kids were little.
Teens need protecting too though so I’ll be setting aside some time to make sure they have what they need. Unity Consortium has a goal of making sure 9 in 10 teens are fully vaccinated against preventable diseases. They recommend teens have annual check-ups, especially between the ages of 11-2 and at age 16 when vaccines are recommended.
What Vaccinations are recommended for teens?
- Meningococcal-includes two distinct meningococcal disease vaccines (ACWY and B)
- Tdap-tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough) and Td Booster (tetanus and diphtheria)
- HPV-human papillomavirus
This time of year, as kids head back to school, it’s a good time to evaluate whether your teen needs a checkup and needs to catch up on any vaccinations.
Learn more about this survey and teen vaccinations by visiting Unity4TeenVax.org.