Welcome to the State of California 

What Shots Does My Preteen or Adolescent Need?

As parents, we can’t be near our children every minute. Immunizing our children is one thing we can do to protect their health for years to come.

Vaccines for 11-18 year olds

What this means for YOUR child

(tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough)

Tdap protects against 3 dangerous serious and potentially life-threatening diseases: tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough (also called pertussis).

Whooping cough outbreaks are ongoing in many states. It continues to be seen at increased levels in California.

All students going into 7th grade must have proof of having had the Tdap booster shot unless they have a documented exemption. For more information, visit www.shotsforschool.org.


Meningococcal meningitis is easily spread by kissing, sharing drinks, coughing, or sneezing. This disease could cause your otherwise healthy child to lose an arm or leg, become paralyzed, or die. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends one dose at age 11 or 12 and a booster dose at age 16.


Chickenpox is usually worse for adolescents and adults than for kids. A total of two doses of chickenpox vaccine are needed if your child has never had chickenpox disease.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

More than half of all men and women will catch HPV at some point in their life. This vaccine series can protect males and females from common types of HPV known to cause cancer. The HPV vaccine is recommended for girls and boys at 11 or 12 years of age. The 3-shot series takes 6 months to complete.

Seasonal flu

Flu is a serious illness. Even healthy childrenand adolescents need protection against flu! Flu vaccine is recommended every year for everyone 6 months of age and older.

My child has health insurance. Where can my child get immunized?

Getting your child vaccinated can be easy and inexpensive. For families with health insurance, all or most of the cost of vaccines is usually covered under current state or federal laws. Pediatricians or family doctors' offices can give your children the shots they need to stay healthy and meet the requirements for starting child care or school. As insurance may vary, ask your health plan or your doctor’s office if there are any fees for vaccination.

Local pharmacies often offer immunizations for older children and adults. Check with the pharmacy and your insurance company about the cost.

My child doesn't have health insurance. Where can my child get immunized? 

If you do not have health insurance, find out if your child is eligible for Medi-Cal. Contact your local County Social Services Office for some information. Some local health departments also give free or low-cost vaccines or may have information about other providers in your community. Community health centers may also offer immunizations for free or lower cost, depending on your income. Contact the clinic for more information.

Local pharmacies also offer immunizations for older children and adults, but the cost is typically higher than the locations mentioned above. Check with the pharmacy about the cost.


For more information:


Last modified on: 2/19/2015 10:52 AM