Vaccines for Teens

Why VaccinateUpdated 1-11-24

Vaccines strengthen a person’s immune system and provide protection before exposure to potentially life-threatening diseases. Certain vaccines are recommended at different ages for two primary reasons:

  • It is the age when the vaccine works the best with your child or teen's immune system.
  • It is the time when your child or teen needs the protection the most.
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Vaccine Schedules - 7 Years of Age through 18

Click here for the 2024 recommended vaccines for children 7 years of age through 18. Vaccines are safe and effective and side effects are minor. For example, a sore arm or low-grade fever that goes away within a few days.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) develops recommendations for U.S. immunizations based on extensive research and evidence. The recommendations include ages when vaccines should be given, number of doses, time between doses, and precautions and contraindications.

Vaccination Requirements for School
Vaccine Requirements for K-12 and 7th Grade
Students admitted at transitional kindergarten and grades K-12 need:
Vaccine Type Dosage Information
Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis (DTaP, DTP, Tdap, or Td) 5 doses
(4 doses OK if one was given on or after 5th birthday. 3 doses OK if one was given on or after 7th birthday.)
*For 7th-12th graders, at least 1 dose of pertussis-containing vaccine is required on or after 7th birthday.
Polio (OPV or IPV) 4 doses
(3 doses OK if one was given on or after 4th birthday)
Hepatitis B 3 doses
(not required for 7th grade entry)
Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) 2 doses
(both given on or after 1st birthday)
Varicella (Chickenpox) 2 doses
Students starting 7th grade need:
Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis (Tdap) 1 dose
(whooping cough booster usually given at 11 years and up)
Varicella (Chickenpox) 2 doses
(usually given at ages 12 months and 4-6 years)
Vaccine Requirements for Colleges & Universities

Colleges and Universities have immunization requirements, which may vary by state and academic institution. Visit the resources below to learn more about California University requirements or visit CDC's SchoolVaxView for other state requirements.

Where to get a Vaccine

There are many places where your child or teen can get vaccinated. Most insurance policies cover recommended vaccines and there are resources available to help cover the cost if you are uninsured.

If you have insurance:

  • At your healthcare provider or pediatricians’ office.
  • Retail pharmacies, such as Rite Aid or CVS

If you don't have insurance or are underinsured:

  • Vaccines for Children Program (VFC) offers vaccines at no cost for eligible* children through VFC-enrolled healthcare providers**. Use the tool below to locate VFC enrolled providers near you.
    • *Children ages 18 years or younger who meet at least one of the following requirements: American Indian or Alaska Native, Medicaid-eligible, Uninsured, or Underinsured.
    • **Most pediatricians in the U.S. are now VFC enrolled providers.

For a list of free and low-cost vaccine clinic locations in Los Angeles County, click here.

To locate COVID-19, Flu, and Mpox vaccines, visit ph.lacounty.gov/vaccines.

Vaccine Finder Tool - VFC Providers

If you are using a mobile device, click here to access the vaccine finder tool.

Locating Vaccination Records

It is important to keep your child’s vaccination records up to date and in a safe place. Without documentation, your child might not be allowed to attend school, play sports, or travel abroad. Your child may need their vaccination records later as adults for certain occupations.

There are a few places where you can find your child's immunization record:

For more information, visit the CDC Keeping Track of Records webpage.

Additional Resources

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  • Public Health has made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translation. However, no computerized translation is perfect and is not intended to replace traditional translation methods. If questions arise concerning the accuracy of the information, please refer to the English edition of the website, which is the official version.

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