- Teens and parents think it is less important to go than when you were little
- School (yes more school)
- Don’t need any shots now anyway......................Well, that is actually not true!
Yep. So, here’s the deal – I am a parent of 2 teens myself, and a Dr (but you knew that). There are vaccines that are out there that teens are supposed to get that weren’t even INVENTED yet when I was a teen! That is true for a lot of your parents and guardians too. So they may not even know that there are some shots you should make sure that you get through the teen years.
- Flu shot every fall
- Tdap booster shot (for tetanus (step on any rusty nails lately?), diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough)
- HPV vaccine (it’s 3 shots given over 6 months to be done before you even THINK about having sex)
- Meningococcal vaccine (for a common form of meningitis that young people get)
Now there may be others too that you need if you have other medical conditions. You and your Dr can sit down and figure out what you should and shouldn’t get.
- Let’s talk about measles for a second…. That is one you would have gotten when you were little, but if you didn’t it’s not too late. Did you know that measles stays around in the area 2 HOURS after the infected person leaves? (Subways, amusement parks, school buses, classrooms anyone?)
- Ever heard of the 100 day cough? There are lots of reports of pertussis going around. In teens there is more cough and less whoop than in toddlers. But 100 days of cough is no fun for anyone. And yes, pertussis’ cough lasts 3 months! Now in the olden days, the vaccine lasted longer, but it has been changed so that there are fewer side effects. Which is good! But it means you really gotta get your booster doses to keep immunity (ability to fight the infection) up.
- Meningitis? This is an infection of the lining of the brain. It can come on fast and be deadly (not high drama here, just a fact). The meningococcal vaccine that you are supposed to get as a teen helps prevent one of the most common infections that affect young people. Especially those that live in close spaces (dorms) and share stuff (kisses, drink cups, etc).
- HPV vaccine – Did you know that basically 100% (yes, almost everyone) who has ever had sex has gotten the HPV infection. Sometimes it goes away, and sometimes it causes cancer. We don’t have a crystal ball to predict how it will turn out for individual people. Thus, the vaccine. For more, click HERE
Well, the most common side effect that teens get with vaccines is fainting. As soon as teens faint, they "come to", or wake right up, pretty much. There are other side effects depending on the vaccine and your medical situation and your doctor or nurse can explain all of that to you.
Guess what! You can get more than one at the same time. So you don’t have to go back and forth to get a bunch of shots.
The Final Word:
- Vaccines do NOT cause the disease you are trying to prevent. You cannot get the flu from the flu shot.
- Vaccines do NOT cause autism.
And that’s Real Talk for you about vaccines. Now, go get that shot in the arm!