Pediatricians have a unique opportunity to influence adolescents and their families by helping young people build a strong foundation of good health that will continue into their adult lives.
In the News
On July 26, 2013, the CDC released an MMWR on HPV, showing low, stagnating vaccination rates. Pediatricians have a unique opportunity to address missed opportunities and vaccinate adolescents to protect against many forms of cancer. Resources for pediatricians to reduce office barriers and address parents' common concerns related to HPV vaccine are below.
CDC has launched a Preteen Vaccine Campaign. Campaign materials include flyers, posters, banner ads, and web content about preteen vaccines and the pre-teen medical check-up.
For Parents and Teens
Key Messages to Share with Families
These messages can be customized or sent directly to parents or adolescents via e-mail or text message.
- Doctors urge parents to bring 11 to 12 year olds in for HPV vaccine to prevent certain cancers.
- HPV is a very common virus that can lead genital warts as well as cancers of the mouth, throat, and sex organs. A vaccine is available to protect your teen.
- Your child’s immune system may respond to HPV vaccine best when 11 to 12 years old. Be sure to get him/her vaccinated.
- HPV vaccine works and it’s safe. Be sure to get your pre-teens and teens vaccinated.
- HPV vaccine takes 3 doses to work. Don’t forget to bring your teen in to finish the series.
Finally, the AAP asks that pediatricians provide a strong recommendation for HPV vaccine. Studies have shown that parents trust their pediatrician’s guidance. Be sure to give a strong recommendation for all vaccines on the current immunization schedule and not merely mention that they are available. Some providers report not issuing a strong recommendation for the HPV vaccine. It is especially important to strongly recommend HPV vaccine, as parents often have more questions about it because it is related to sexual activity and they do not understand that their child needs the vaccine before becoming sexually active for full protection.
Adolescent Vaccine Recommendations
Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis (Tdap) vaccine
Meningococcal (MCV4) vaccine
Human Papillomavirus Vaccine
Strategies to Increase Coverage
Adolescent Catch-up Vaccines
AAP Committee on Adolescence
The Committee on Adolescence addresses the special health care needs of adolescents and promotes the pediatrician as their optimal source of health care.
AAP Council on School Health
The AAP Section and the Committee on School Health have combined to form the Council on School Health.
CDC's Division of Adolescent and School Health (Exit Site)
Locate information on a variety of school health topics, including school health profiles.
Last Updated: 10/23/13