Immunization FAQ

General Teen Immunization Information

What shots do teens need?

A Tdap booster
Two (2) doses of meningococcal vaccine
Three (3) doses of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine
Influenza (flu) vaccine - one (1) dose of either the flu shot or nasal mist every year
Two (2) doses of hepatitis A vaccine
Three (3) doses of hepatitis B vaccine
Two (2) doses of a measles-containing vaccine (usually MMR)
Two (2) doses of varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, if you did not have the chickenpox disease

When should teens get these shots?

An adolescent health care visit is recommended at age 11-12. All of the shots an adolescent needs should be started at that visit. However, there is no need to wait. Children can get many of the recommended shots before age 11 if they are seeing their provider for another reason. Older adolescents can receive these vaccinations as well. It is never too late!

Where should teens go to get these shots?

Teens can go to their regular doctor, their Merlo Station high School School-Based Health Center, nurse, clinic and some pharmacies. If you or your parents have health insurance, it may pay for all the shots recommended for you. Also, Many Oregon adolescents can receive shots at low cost or no cost through the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program. If you do not have a doctor, call your local health department or 1-800-SAFENET to get information on where to get immunizations.

Why are shots important for teens?

Teens need shots to stay healthy. The diseases these shots protect against are not something a person outgrows. In fact, diseases like tetanus and hepatitis B mostly affect adults. And some diseases, like chickenpox, are more dangerous for teens and adults than they are for small children. Shots are an investment in a teen's future.

Are shots required to attend school in Oregon?

Yes. Students in grades 7-12 need proof of a Tdap shot to stay in school now. Tdap is a vaccine that protects against three diseases - tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough). Tdap is recommended for all adolescents and adults. Other shots that are required for school include MMR, polio, hepatitis B, and varicella. Hepatitis A vaccine will be required for students in all grades in the 2014-15 school year. A medical or religious exemption is acceptable.

Who says teens need shots?

All of the major medical associations agree that teens need shots to stay healthy. This is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), the American Medical Association (AMA), and the U.S. Public Heath Service's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). Some of the shots recommended for all teens are also part of our school law in Oregon.

What other preventive health services does a teen need?

The adolescent health visit may include a wide variety of health education, screening, and physical assessment services. Discussion topics might include diet/nutrition, exercise, injury prevention, depression, and risk behaviors, as well as immunization. Services will vary depending on a teen's specific needs. Schedule a visit today at the Merlo Station High School SBHC!

Where can I get more information?

Call your regular doctor or nurse, nurse practitioner at the‚Äč Merlo SBHC (503-941-3210), your local clinic, local health department, or call 1-800-SAFENET (1-800-723-3638).