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Vaccinating adolescents on time means healthier children, families and communities.Vaccinating adolescents on time means healthier children, families and communities. Regulations for school attendance require schools to more closely examine students’ immunization records and could result in adolescents not being allowed to start or continue in school if immunizations are not current. These updated regulations provide increased protection against illnesses like whooping cough, which has been reported in school aged children in Westchester, as well as cases of measles and mumps that have occurred in the area.

As your children become preteens or teenagers, ask their doctor about the HPV vaccine, which protects against some cancers, the Tdap vaccine, which is a booster against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, and the meningococcal vaccine, which protects against meningococcal disease. If your older teen never got the meningococcal vaccine, ask about getting it now, especially if your teenager is about to move into a college dorm.

Take the childhood vaccine quiz to get a customized printout of recommended vaccines.

Harm in delaying or skipping vaccinations
In recent years, there has been a lot of misinformation in the media and on the internet about vaccinations. This has caused some parents to worry that vaccines could cause autism in their children. Unfortunately, this mistaken belief has led many parents to delay or even refuse vaccinations for their children. As a result, outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases are occurring in communities where vaccination rates are low, both here in the United State and around the world. Without vaccines, children are at risk of developing dangerous, even deadly diseases, such as measles, mumps, whooping cough and the flu. For more information about the dangers of not getting vaccinated, visit the New York State Department of Health.