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Teen Health 411
Teen Health 411

Most Teens Ages 13 to 17 Are Vaccinated

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently estimated that as of 2007, 89.5% of teens between the ages of 13 and 17 have received their recommended vaccinations. This report was based on the National Immunization Survey--Teens (NIS--Teen) that uses a national random-digit--dialing sample of telephone numbers. After a parent consents, a survey is sent to the health care provider to get their vaccination history.

There are three new vaccines recommended for adolescents since 2005: meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4; 1 dose), tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis vaccine (Tdap; 1 dose), and quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV; 3 doses).

For this sample, coverage was as follows:
  • 1 or more dose of either tetanus and diphtheria toxoids vaccine (Td) or Tdap after age 10 years - 72.3%
  • MCV4 - 32.4%
  • HPV - 25.1%
  • 3 or more doses of Hepatitis B (HepB) - 87.6%
  • 2 or more doses of measles, mumps & rubella (MMR) - 88.9%
  • 1 or more doses of varicella (VAR) - 75.7%
This is great news given the number of uninsured teens and probably reflects the success of publicity about the new vaccines as well as health care professionals taking the time at every visit to assess vaccination history. Go us!
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About the Author

Dr. Brown is a developmental psychologist specializing in adolescent health.