Take this quiz to find out!
Today we enjoy access to information at lightning speed, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. If we have a question, the answer is merely a few taps away on our smartphones and computers.
It can be difficult to retain all that information, however. For example, as a parent, how much do you remember about adolescent immunizations from reading and research? Test your knowledge here.
1 Which vaccine should an adolescent receive every year?
A. Tetanus, Diphtheria and acellular Pertussis (Tdap).
B. Human Papillomavirus (HPV).
C. Meningococcal (MCV4).
D. Influenza (Flu).
D is correct, which may be surprising, as many adolescents are healthy and active, with strong immune systems. Nevertheless, it’s important that even healthy, active adolescents receive an annual influenza booster.
2 Why do healthy, active adolescents need to have a flu shot annually?
A. They are unaware of the dangers of flu, and don’t regularly wash their hands.
B. Influenza spreads easily and can cause severe symptoms as well as secondary bacterial infections such as pneumonia and a sinus infection.
C. An adolescent’s immune system has not built up enough resistance to flu.
B is correct. Many healthy adolescents infected with influenza develop secondary bacterial infections that prolong their illness and keep them home from school. Adolescents are in close contact with their peers at school for many hours each day, increasing the spread of the influenza virus. Those with chronic illnesses — such as asthma or diabetes — are at increased risk for getting extremely ill. By updating your adolescent’s flu shot, you are protecting him and those around him.
3 Which immunization requires a booster at age 16?
A. Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR).
B. Varicella (Chicken Pox).
C. Meningococcal (MCV4).
D. Hepatitis B (HBV).
C is correct. However, an adolescent receiving a first dose of MCV4 at 16 years or older does not need a booster.
4 When adolescents are behind on their immunizations, which can they receive on a catch-up schedule?
A. Rotavirus (RV).
B. Inactivated Poliovirus (IPV).
C. Haemophilus influenzae (Hib).
D. Diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis (DTaP).
B is correct. The last dose of IPV is given at four to six years of age. An adolescent who has not yet received this immunization can catch up any time before turning 18. RV, Hib and DTaP are not recommended for most healthy adolescents.
Many immunizations are approved for adolescents to receive on a catch-up schedule, such as the MMR, Varicella and Hepatitis B immunizations. You can find the CDC’s catch-up schedule at http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/hcp/ child-adolescent.html.
The FDA approved the new rotavirus immunization in 2006, so many of today’s adolescents did not receive it, which is ok — adolescents who may never have received rotavirus (RV) most likely have already had the disease, an illness that causes severe vomiting and diarrhea.
Although the name may sound alike, Haemophilus influenza (Hib) does not cause the flu. It is a bacterial infection that can cause life-long disability and even death, most commonly affecting children younger than five years of age. Hib is not routinely recommended for children five years or older unless their immune systems are compromised.
Diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis (DTaP) is approved for use in children younger than seven years old. You may wonder if DTaP and Tdap are the same. While they both protect children and adolescents from the same illnesses, DTaP is recommended for those under the age of seven, and Tdap (Tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis) is recommended for those older than seven.
Currently, the CDC recommends one dose of Tdap at 11 to 12 years of age. However, an adolescent who has not yet received a Tdap should get the immunization as soon as possible. It is imperative that adolescents receive Tdap, not only to protect themselves from whooping cough — a potentially severe respiratory disease — but to protect others with whom they may come into contact as well.
5 Should my adolescent receive the HPV vaccine, and is it safe?
A is correct. Studies have investigated the safety of the HPV immunization. You can find a compilation of these studies at: www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/Vaccines/ HPV/Index.html#data. HPV can be given to both males and females at nine years old.
If your adolescent is traveling internationally, where can you find information about the vaccines your adolescent should receive?
A. The CDC.
B. Your child’s friends and classmates.
A is correct. If your adolescent plans to travel abroad, the CDC’s website,http:// wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices, is an excellent source for immunization recommendations. The CDC provides Travel Health Notices with information on current health issues in specific locations. This guidance is helpful when considering the risk and safety of travel abroad.
If you have taken this quiz and are still unsure about your adolescent’s immunization status, make an appointment with your primary care provider to discuss immunization needs and ensure your child is protected from infectious diseases.
Lacey Eden, MS, FNP-C, is an Assistant Professor and teaches in the graduate program in the College of Nursing at Brigham Young University. She is a primary care provider in a busy pediatric clinic in Draper, UT.
Karlen Luthy, DNP, FNP, is an Associate Professor in the College of Nursing at Brigham Young University and teaches in the graduate program. She is a primary care provider in a clinic in Salem, UT.