All teens need vaccines to protect against whooping cough, meningitis and some cancers.
- This vaccine is required for all seventh graders in South Carolina. The Tdap vaccine protects against three serious diseases: tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough). All preteens should get Tdap at age 11 or 12. If your older teen has not had a Tdap booster, ask their health care provider about getting the shot now.
- This vaccine is recommended for all teens and prevents cancers caused by HPV. HPV vaccine provides the best protection against cancer when it is given at age 11 or 12 years. If teens start the vaccine series before age 15 year, they only need two shots, given 6-12 months apart. If they start the vaccine at age 15 or later, they will need three shots. Older teens and young adults who haven't started the HPV vaccine should ask their health care provider or health department about getting vaccinated now.
- There are 2 types of vaccines that protect against some of the bacteria that can cause meningitis and other serious infections. These vaccines protect against different types of the bacteria.
- Meningococcal ACWY vaccines (Menactra or Menveo) - Kids should get the first vaccine dose at age 11-12, and a booster at age 16.
- Meningococcal B vaccines (Bexsero or Trumenba) - For most teens, this is a 2 shot series which is given starting at age 16.
- The flu vaccine is the best protection against illness caused by the flu. All kids and teens should get the flu vaccine every year. It is very important for kids and teens with chronic health conditions (like asthma or diabetes) to get the flu vaccine every year.
Where can my teen get vaccines?
A good time to get vaccines is at a yearly checkup or physical with your teen's health care provider, but they can be given at any visit as long as your teen isn't sick. Ask your teen's health care provider about what vaccines he or she needs at your next visit!
DHEC health departments also provide teen vaccines. Low cost vaccines are available for eligible children and adults. Call 1-855-472-3432 for an appointment.
In South Carolina, anyone age 18 and older can get vaccines at a local pharmacy without a prescription. Vaccine costs at the pharmacy depend on your insurance coverage.
Learn More about Preteen/Teen Vaccines
Protect Your Preteen/Teen With Vaccines (pdf)
Protect Your Preteen/Teen With Vaccines - Spanish version (pdf)
Find more information at the CDC Vaccine Information for Parents webpage.