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7 most important vaccinations required for adolescents

Published on Nov 29, 2022 02:44 PM IST

Adolescent vaccination aims to boost immunity and keep your adolescents healthy and disease free. Check out some most important vaccinations that are a must for your adolescent.

India has the highest number of adolescents who can be protected by vaccinating them from a number of infectious diseases .(HT Gallery)

Immunizations are one of the most important, beneficial and cost-effective disease prevention measures for adolescent health. WHO defines adolescence age between 10 to 19 years. In India, there are 243 million adolescents which constitute 21 per cent of the total population. The global burden of disease in adolescents (2011) reports that the total number of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) worldwide among adolescents was 230 million which constitutes 15.5% of total DALYs.

India has the highest number of adolescents who can be protected by vaccinating them from a number of infectious diseases that previously claimed millions of lives each year. Thousands of adolescent deaths due to communicable diseases can be prevented by vaccination. Adolescent vaccination aims to boost immunity and keep your adolescents healthy and disease free. (Also read: Health tips for adolescents: 5 problems due to obesity, ways to lose weight )

In a conversation with HT Lifestyle, Dr. Paula Goel, Consultant Pediatrician, Adolescent Physician and the Founder of Fayth Clinic, suggested some most important vaccinations required for adolescents.

  • Tdap: The common vaccination is Tdap which is used for protection against diphtheria tetanus and pertussis and it can be given at the age of 16 years.
  • MMR: The other common vaccination which has to be given is MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine. MMR vaccination has got two doses and is required to protect against measles mumps and rubella diseases. The purpose of giving MMR vaccination to adolescents is to prevent congenital rubella syndrome which may occur if the woman is infected with rubella during pregnancy, then in that case the unborn baby can get congenital rubella syndrome which is associated with small brain size, mental retardation, vision problems and other birth defects. Two doses of MMR need to be given at an interval of 6 months.
  • HPV: Another vaccine which needs to be given is HPV which is the human papillomavirus vaccine. this vaccine protects against the human papillomavirus which causes cervical cancer in women and penile cancer in men. This virus also causes different forms of oral cancers and genital warts hence this vaccine would protect against cervical cancer, penile cancer, oral cancer, genital warts and other forms of cancer too.
  • Hepatitis A: It is another vaccine which has to be given to the adolescent group. Adolescents love to hang out with their friends and also eat out, hence the chances of getting jaundice are very high so the hepatitis A vaccine has to be given to protect from jaundice. Like the MMR, Hepatitis A also has to be given twice at an interval of six months.
  • Typhoid vaccine: Typhoid is another disease which is also quite common among adolescents and this occurs mostly because of eating out and eating unhealthy street food so the typhoid vaccine will protect against typhoid infection.
  • Varicella vaccine: Chicken pox may occur in teenagers and is quite virulent and has strong complications. In order to protect from chickenpox, it is necessary to give the varicella vaccine as the childhood vaccination which was given tends to wane off after the primary vaccinations, hence during the teenage years, the varicella vaccine has to be given.
  • Menactra vaccine: Some schools and colleges also ask for certain vaccinations. Those students travelling abroad for further education have to take vaccinations required in the country they are going. Menactra vaccine is given to students travelling abroad to USA and Europe for further education and is used to protect against meningococcal infection as it may cause a widespread outbreak on campuses.

Not getting a full course of a vaccine leaves a person unprotected and still at risk of getting a disease. Other vaccinations require a booster shot every few years to ensure that the level of immunity remains high.

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