Young children get numerous vaccines, which help protect them from disease as they grow. As children become adolescents, they need new immunizations to make sure they stay healthy. It is important to know what shots adolescents have had and which ones are due next. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more information on the vaccines adolescents need and how to keep them on schedule.
The HHS Office of Minority Health developed Minority Population Profiles that include detailed demographic and health status information, including immunization rates, among youth and adults in several racial and ethnic groups.
It’s important that young people see healthcare providers regularly. Regular check-ups ensure adolescents receive recommended clinical preventive services, which are immunizations, screening tests, and health counseling recommended for people their age. Routine healthcare visits help prevent unhealthy behaviors, promote healthy decision-making, and reduce the likelihood of developing major health issues now and in the future. Preventive health visits also provide an opportunity to help teens learn how to use the healthcare system when they are adults.
Clinical preventive services for adolescents that are recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), and the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Bright Futures are covered without copayments or deductibles in health insurance plans. Yet, many teens do not receive all the recommended preventive services they need. Families take babies and young children in for immunizations and check-ups, but regular check-ups are important for adolescents too. Most medical groups agree that routine visits to see a healthcare provider, whether the young person is healthy or sick, are important for adolescents’ health. Although annual wellness check-ups are ideal, any visit to the healthcare provider’s office or other healthcare location can be an opportunity to receive preventive care.