Tips for Parents & Other Adults
How to Keep Track of Vaccinations
To make sure adolescents stay healthy, it is important to know what shots they have had and which are due next. To stay on top of the schedule:
- Ask your doctor's office if they can send or give you a print-out of your child's immunization record.
- Keep immunization records in a safe place that you can access easily when you're planning to travel abroad; sign up for school, sports teams, or camp; or if you move or switch doctors.
- These online tools can also help you keep track:
- Check the CDC’s SchoolVaxView tool to see school vaccination requirements and exemptions for your state.
- Download the CDC's vaccine schedule (also available in Spanish) to see the shots needed in the adolescent years and a catch-up schedule.
- Mobile apps, including one from CDC, have information about schedules and tools to help you record shots.
- Some states have immunization information systems (IIS) that keep track of vaccination records.
Records for the Future
When adolescents are old enough to manage their own health care, it is time to hand off their vaccine information so they can start keeping track themselves. Make sure the record is up to date. Keep a copy for yourself and give them a copy to store in a safe place. They can take a copy to their health visits and update it when they get vaccines.
Other Tips to Protect Adolescents from Infectious Disease
Parents and other caring adults can help protect adolescents against infectious diseases:
- Know the facts. Along with knowing when adolescents should receive immunizations, parents can learn why vaccinations for adolescents are important.
- Know about affordable options! The CDC’s Vaccines for Children Program provides vaccines at no cost to over 40 million children under age 19 each year. This Q&A page provides information for parents.
- Document your teen's immunization history. Find out how to access your adolescent’s vaccination records if you or your healthcare provider do not have them.
To keep your child up-to-date on their vaccinations, use the checklist below to make sure he or she is covered (view as PDF).
Vaccines for your preteen, ages 11 to 12
|Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis (Tdap)||1 Dose|
|Meningococcal Conjugate||1 Dose|
|Human Papillomavirus (HPV)||3 Doses over 6 months||Dose 1:
|Flu Shot||Once a Year|
Vaccines for your teen, ages 13 to 18
|Meningococcal Conjugate Booster||1 Dose at age 16|
|Flu Shot||Once a Year|
Ask about other vaccines
Adolescents with certain health conditions that put them at high risk for serious diseases might need extra vaccines. Ask your doctor if your adolescent needs any of these shots.
|Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV13) and Pneumococcal Polysaccharine Vaccine (PPSV23)||6-18 years|
|Hepatitis A||Any age|
Much of this content first appeared on WebMD, reviewed by Roy Benaroch, MD, and Hansa Bhargava, MD, as part of a collaboration among the HHS Office on Women’s Health; the HHS Office of Adolescent Health; the HHS National Vaccine Program Office; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and the HHS Center for Medicare and Medicaid services to develop web content on vaccines for preteens and teens.
Content last reviewed on September 23, 2016