Did you know: All about vaccines for your teen

Give children the protection they need to build their immunity against infectious diseases.

Vaccines are not just meant for babies and younger children. Your teenager needs to build immunity too, especially as we live through the pandemic. Here are some myths and facts that you may not be aware of.

MYTH: My teen doesn’t need vaccines since he received them as a child.

FACT: DTP, a booster shot, is recommended for children aged 9-14 years. It offers protection against three separate diseases: Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis.

MYTH: My child doesn’t need a vaccine because diseases like diphtheria, measles, whooping cough and tetanus are not serious.

FACT: All these diseases can cause serious complications and prove fatal. Babies need 3 shots at 6, 10 & 14 weeks of DTP (Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis (whooping cough) to build protection. These must be followed up with two booster shots in early childhood (18 months & 4-6 years of age). The teenage three-in-one booster is given at age 9-14 years.

MYTH: Only babies and toddlers can take the MMR vaccine.

FACT: Your teenager can still catch up on the MMR vaccine, which offers protection against Measles, Mumps and Rubella. Schedule a vaccination appointment, especially if your child is planning to go off to college or making plans to travel abroad.

MYTH: The HPV vaccine is not really necessary for my child.

FACT: The HPV vaccine protects girls against the virus that causes genital warts and certain types of cancers, including cervical cancer. The two-dose series is to be given before the age of 15. Ideally, the first dose should be given between ages 11 and 12. 

MYTH: These diseases have almost disappeared from my region, so the vaccine is not needed.

FACT: The vaccine-preventable disease may only appear to be uncommon in one country, but is still prevalent in India and worldwide. Since immunization can never cover the entire population, outbreaks may happen despite vast coverage.

MYTH: My child rarely falls sick and seems to have good immunity. Does he need a booster vaccine dose? 

FACT: Exposure to diseases, even measles, can prove fatal. Vaccines trigger an immune response that is similar to one produced during a natural infection, thus building protection. 

Now that you are aware of the importance of vaccination, even for older children, don’t hesitate and give them the protection they need to build their immunity against these vaccine preventable infectious diseases.

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