Contrary to popular belief, adolescents require immunizations too! Some adolescents incorrectly assume that the vaccines they received as children will protect them for the rest of their lives.

Generally this is true, except that:

  • Some adolescents were never vaccinated as children
  • Immunity can begin to fade over time
The health department conducts routine immunizations for adolescents depending on the individual’s need. Appointments are required for all immunizations. 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: This is a bacterial infection 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. It can lead to breathing problems, heart failure, and death.

Pertussis 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 and 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. Some people are never able to rid themselves of the virus. This long-term or chronic 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 can also be spread in households of HBV-infected persons, or by passage of the virus from an HBV-infected mother to her infant during birth.

The recommended vaccine schedule for adolescents considered at risk is a series of three injections administered in the following manner:

  • An initial dose
  • Second dose 2 months following initial dose
  • One 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, which is most commonly transmitted by the fecal-oral route via contaminated food or drinking water. Every year, approximately 10 million people worldwide are infected with the virus 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.

The recommended vaccine schedule for adolescents considered at risk is 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) is a papillomavirus that infects the skin and mucous membranes of humans. Approximately 130 HPV types have been identified. Some HPV types can cause warts (verrucae) or cancer, while others have no symptoms.

The recommended vaccine schedule for adolescent females and males starting as early as age 9, that are considered at risk, is a series of three injections administered in the following manner:

  • An initial dose
  • Second dose 2 months following initial dose
  • One dose six months after the initial dose.

Influenza (Flu):

Influenza (the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccination each year. Every year in the United States, on average 5% to 20% of the population gets the flu; more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu complications, and; about 36,000 people die from flu. Some people, such as 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.

The recommended vaccine schedule is at 8th grade and then again Senior year of high school.

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 meningococcal disease. Every year in the United States approximately 2,500 people are infected and 300 die from the disease. Other persons at increased risk include household contacts of a person known to have had this disease, immunocompromised people, and people traveling to parts of the world where meningococcal meningitis is prevalent.

Adolescent Immunization Schedule

Adolescents at
increased risk of
pneumococcal disease or its complications.
1 dose
Influenza 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
Varicella Adolescents without
immunity to varicella
2 doses
Meningococcal 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
1 dose
Tetanus, diphtheria
and acellular pertussis (Tdap)
A Tdap booster vaccine to replace tetanus
and diphtheria (Td)
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
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

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