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Vaccinations for Adolescents

The recommended age for initiation of vaccination is 9–12 years for girls. The Indian Academy of Pediatrics recommends offering HPV vaccine to all who can afford it prior to sexual debut. The vaccine should preferably be introduced to parents as a cervical cancer-preventing vaccine although taking it does not mean that there is no need for periodic screening in the later years. Catch-up vaccination is permitted up to the age of 26 years. A total of three doses at 0, 2 and 6 months are recommended with Gardasil or 0, 1 and 6 months with Cervarix (minimum interval of 4 weeks between the first and the second dose, 12 weeks between the second and third dose and 24 weeks between the first and third dose). HPV vaccines can be given simultaneously with other vaccines and at present, there is no data to support the use of booster doses.

In the event of an injury at risk of contracting tetanus the efficacy of a tetanus shot taken lasts around five years. So there is no need to repeat it frequently.

I hope this information is handy for parents of teenagers.


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Dr. Krishna Mahathi holds diplomas in Pediatrics and in the management of allergies and asthma. Years of working and interacting with children and parents have given her insight into developmental disabilities. She wishes that there was more awareness and acceptance of the issues that differently-abled children face and hopes that through this blog, she can enable thse children and their families to make sensible and informed choices.

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