Make sure your pre-teen gets important shots.
Schedule a checkup for your pre-teen.
The Tdap, MCV4, and HPV vaccines are given during your child’s yearly checkup at age 11 or 12. If your child didn’t get these shots at age 11 or 12, it’s not too late — make an appointment with the doctor to get them now.
Many states require the Tdap and MCV4 shots for children before they start school.
What about cost?
The Affordable Care Act, the health care reform law passed in 2010, covers recommended shots for kids. Depending on your insurance plan, you may be able to get your pre-teen’s shots at no cost to you.
Check with your insurance provider to find out what’s included in your plan. For information about other services for children that are covered by the Affordable Care Act, visit HealthCare.gov.
If you don’t have health insurance, your pre-teen can still get important shots.
Talk to your child about the HPV vaccine.
HPV is spread through sexual activity. It’s the most common STD (sexually transmitted disease) in the United States.
Some parents feel uncomfortable talking to their children about STDs. If your child is young, you may want to say that the HPV shots prevent cancer.
To start a conversation with your pre-teen, try asking what your child already knows about HPV or the HPV vaccine. If you’d like more help talking to your child, take this list of questions for the doctor about HPV shots to your child’s next appointment.
Tell the doctor about bad reactions.
Serious side effects after getting a vaccine – like a severe allergic reaction – are very rare. If your child or another family member has ever had a bad reaction to a vaccine in the past, tell the doctor before your child gets a shot.
When your child gets a vaccine, pay extra attention to your child for a few days afterwards. If you see something that worries you, call your child’s doctor.