Teens and Vaccines

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Story Updated: Mar 19, 2013

Most parents are pretty good about getting their young children vaccinated according to national recommendations...but researchers wanted to know why this vigilance doesn't follow kids into their teen years.

Three new vaccines have been licensed and recommended for teens since 2005, yet many are still not receiving them. Parents were asked their reasons for vaccine refusal. The most frequent answers were not recommended, not necessary and safety concerns or side effects.

Here's how the data stacked up on the new shots in boys and girls aged 13 to 17.For the Tdap/tetanus and diphtheria vaccine, immunization rates improved from just over 72- percent in 2008 to 81-percent in 2010.MCV4 shots for meningitis increased from just under 42-percent to nearly 63-percent.

But the three dose HPV vaccine has been slower to catch on. Girls getting all three doses grew from just 18-percent to 32-percent. Most parents said they hadn't gotten these shots for their kids because they weren't sexually active. It is now approved for girls AND boys.

The conclusion of the Pediatrics study? Parents need to be better educated to make sure they understand why their teens need to stay up on their shots.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with the health news that matters to you and your family.

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Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, a nonprofit independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association, is part of a family of companies that finances and delivers vital health care services to 1.8 million people across upstate New York. Excellus BlueCross BlueShield provides access to high-quality, affordable health coverage, including valuable health-related resources that our members use every day, such as cost-saving prescription drug discounts and wellness tracking tools in our Step Up program. To learn more, visit www.excellusbcbs.com