Take Action: See a Doctor
You can protect your child's health by making sure your pre-teen gets all the recommended shots.
Schedule a checkup for your pre-teen.
The meningococcal, HPV, and Tdap vaccines are given during your child’s yearly checkup at age 11 or 12. If your child is older but didn’t get these shots, it’s not too late. Make an appointment with the doctor to get them now.
Many states require the meningococcal and Tdap shots for pre-teens before they start school.
You may not even need to make an appointment to get your child the yearly flu shot. You can get a flu shot at a health clinic, pharmacy, or your local health department. Use this vaccine locator to find out where you can get the the flu vaccine near you.
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.
Pay extra attention to your child for a few days after she gets a shot. If you see something that worries you, call your child’s doctor.
Take Action: Cost and Insurance
What about cost?
Under the Affordable Care Act, the health care reform law passed in 2010, insurance plans must cover recommended shots for kids. This means 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 insurance, your pre-teen can still get shots.