Adolescent immunization rates lag far behind childhood rates. As a result, adolescents are left needlessly exposed to serious diseases that can cause immediate and irreparable harm, such as meningococcal disease, and infections like hepatitis B and HPV that can lead to long-term health crises including certain cancers.
One of the prime opportunities to vaccinate and provide counsel about the importance of immunization occurs during regular wellness visits, but adolescents don’t make these visits as often as they should. It is therefore critical to take every opportunity, including visits outside of the routine check-up (e.g., for illness or sports physicals) to open the dialogue with parents and guardians about immunization.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Background information on the US adolescent immunization program status and the need to improve adolescent immunization rates
National Foundation for Infectious Diseases: Call to Action addressing practical strategies for improving adolescent vaccination rates
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Foundation for Infectious Diseases: Summary of current vaccines recommended to protect adolescents against serious infectious diseases
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Video covering vaccine storage and handling best practices, errors, and how to prevent them. CE credit available until 4/17/16.
Tools and resources designed to help healthcare professionals implement key strategies for improving adolescent vaccination rates and educating adolescents and their parents/guardians about the importance of vaccination.
American College Health Association (ACHA)
National Foundation for Infectious Diseases
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