For maximum protection, it’s important to
receive ALL follow-up doses of the vaccines.
is caused by bacteria found in soil. The bacteria enter the body through a wound, such as a deep cut. These bacteria produce a toxin in the body that causes serious, painful spasms and stiffness of all muscles. This can lead to a person not being able to open his or her mouth, swallow or breathe. Complete recovery from tetanus can take months. Three out of ten people who get tetanus die from the disease. Tdap vaccine protects adolescents from pertussis and also helps prevent spreading pertussis to infants and young children.
is a very contagious bacterial disease that affects the respiratory system. The disease is transmitted through an infected person’s cough or sneeze, and causes weakness, sore throat, fever and swollen glands in the neck. Severe cases can also cause heart failure, paralysis, coma and death. Diphtheria once caused thousands of deaths each year and is now rare in the United States thanks to high vaccination rates. However, diphtheria still occurs in other parts of the world, so continued vaccination is important.
Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
is caused by direct contact with respiratory droplets from an infected person. In the beginning, symptoms of pertussis are similar to the common cold and include runny nose, sneezing and cough. After 1-2 weeks, pertussis can cause violent coughing and choking spells, making it hard to breathe, drink or eat. This cough can last for weeks. Pertussis is particularly dangerous to infants and small children.
Tdap should be given
at 11-12 years old
If you haven’t received the Tdap vaccine or if you’re not sure you received this shot, talk to your health care provider.
Pertussis or “whooping cough” is on the rise. Rates of pertussis have increased over the past 20 years. Data shows that an average of 30,000 cases of pertussis are reported each year in the United States among children and adults.* This highly contagious disease is the most common vaccine-preventable childhood disease and the least well-controlled bacterial vaccine-preventable disease. Also, adolescents and adults play a significant role in transmitting pertussis to vulnerable infants at home, in the community, and in health care and daycare settings.
*Average reported cases in U.S., 2010-2014, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Division of Bacterial Diseases.
refers to an illness that is caused by the bacteria known as meningococcus. This infection affects the lining of the brain, spinal cord and blood stream. Bacteria are spread through coughing, sneezing, kissing, etc. (exchange of nose or throat droplets). Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, confusion and sleepiness. About one in every ten people who get the disease die from it. Survivors may lose their arms or legs, become deaf, have problems with their nervous system, become developmentally disabled, or suffer seizures or strokes. Two doses of MCV4 prevent bacterial meningitis.
MCV4 should be given
at 11-12 years old & a booster dose at age 16
A single dose of MCV4 vaccine should be administered at age 11 or 12 years, and a booster dose should be administered at age 16. Adolescents who receive their first dose at age 13 through 15 years should receive a booster dose at age 16 through 18 years. If you missed getting the vaccine altogether, ask your health care provider about getting it now, especially if you are about to move into a college dorm or military barracks.
Also, talk with your health care provider to see if you should receive the meningitis B vaccine.
Adolescents 16 to 21 years, along with infants less than one year, have higher rates of meningococcal disease.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
is most common among teens and people in their early 20s. It is the primary cause of cervical cancer in women and genital warts in women and men. The strains of HPV that cause cervical cancer and genital warts are spread during sex as well as skin-to-skin contact in the genital region. Most people with HPV don’t have symptoms and may not be aware that they have HPV. That’s why it makes sense to get the HPV vaccine at age 11-12 – to protect females and males against most of the cancer causing strains of HPV for the future.
All adolescents should receive HPV vaccine at 9-12 years old
All 9-12 year-olds should get a 2-shot series of HPV vaccine at least 6 months apart. A 3-shot series is needed for those with weakened immune systems and those who start the HPV vaccine series at age 15 or older.
HPV infection can cause cervical, vaginal, and vulvar cancers in women and penile cancer in men. HPV can also cause anal cancer, mouth/throat (oropharyngeal) cancer, and genital warts in both men and women. Each year in the United States, an estimated 31,500 newly diagnosed cancers in men and women are attributable to HPV; approximately 90% of these could be prevented by receipt of the HPV vaccine. (https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/hpv/statistics/cases.htm)
- Taking an hour out of your busy life to get a vaccine could avoid a lifetime of hardship for you and your family.
- A shot causes discomfort for a few moments. Any one of these diseases can cause a lifetime of devastating effects or even death.
- Serious side effects from vaccines are extremely rare. The benefits of preventing disease with a vaccine far outweigh the risks.
- It’s much easier and more common to contract one of these diseases than you may think.
- Meningococcal disease, though rare, can cripple or kill, often without warning.
- Adolescents 16 to 21 years have a higher risk of meningococcal disease than other age groups. Two doses are recommended at 11-12 and 16 years of age.
- HPV is a widespread virus that infects males and females. Half of those newly infected with HPV are between the ages of 15 and 24. It’s a major cause of cervical cancer.
- The HPV vaccine prevents many cancers in the genital area, throat, head and neck of young males and females. Cancer kills. This vaccine is saving lives.
- Parents…will your teen’s partner have practiced abstinence? There’s no way to know—protect your child. HPV vaccine doesn’t open the door to sex; it closes the door to cancer.
Call your health care provider or local health department
to get your vaccines
You can call the Pennsylvania Department of Health to connect to your local health department.
Call: 1-877-PAHEALTH (1-877-724-3258)
Your local immunization coalition can help.
Pennsylvania Immunization Coalition
Supporting all Pennsylvania local immunization coalitions
and counties without established local coalitions.
Southwest Immunization Coalition
Serving: Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Cambria, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Somerset, Washington & Westmoreland Counties.
Northeast Immunization Coalition
Serving: Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike,
Susquehanna, Wayne & Wyoming Counties.
Lehigh Valley Immunization Coalition
Serving: Lehigh, Northampton & Carbon Counties.
Capital Region Immunization Coalition
Serving: Dauphin, Cumberland & Perry Counties.
Montgomery County Immunization Coalition
Serving: Montgomery County.
York-Adams County Immunization Coalition
Serving: York & Adams Counties.
Chester County Immunization Coalition
Serving: Chester County.
Berks Immunization Coalition
Serving: Berks County.
Lancaster County Immunization Coalition
Serving: Lancaster County.
Immunization Coalition of Erie County
Serving: Erie County.
Schuylkill County Immunization Coalition
Serving: Schuylkill County.
Cumberland Valley Immunization Coalition
Serving: Franklin County.
Vaccine Education Partnership
Serving: Cameron, Clarion, Clearfield, Crawford, Elk, Forest, Jefferson, Lawrence, McKean, Mercer, Venango and Warren Counties.
Tioga County Immunization Workshop
Serving: Tioga County.
Allegheny County Immunization Coalition
Serving: Allegheny County.
Bucks County Immunization Coalition
Serving: Bucks County.
Philadelphia Immunization Coalition
Serving: Philadelphia County.
Delaware County Immunization Coalition
Serving: Delaware County.Venango and
For more resources and information on the Tdap, Meningococcal conjugate
and HPV vaccinations, check out the following websites:
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Preteen and Teen Resources | Vaccine Education Center at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia | Pennsylvania School Immunization Requirements | Immunization Action Coalition | American Academy of Pediatrics Immunization Resources