Vaccinations are the most effective and safest method to boost your child’s immunity to specific diseases and reduce their chance of becoming seriously ill or even hospitalised. Some childhood contagious diseases can have disabling and devastating consequences to your kids and, in some cases, even lead to death. This is why vaccinations are a crucial part of every child’s wellness program.
As parents, it’s our job to make sure we keep our children in good health, no matter their age. Investing our time and energy to prepare for and prevent health issues, such as by taking a course in first aid in Melbourne or by making sure our children get vaccinated, can be the best thing we can give to them.
Below you’ll find more information on the type of vaccines that your teen should have. Getting these vaccines can help them live happier and healthier lives, as well as be free from diseases that can negatively affect their quality of living.
HPV (human papillomavirus)
A common symptom of HPV in boys and girls are genital warts that may appear as a small bump, a cluster of bumps, or protrusions. HPV is a virus that’s sexually transmitted and may cause some types of cancer.
Vaccines for HPV are offered for free through school immunisation programs. If your child didn’t receive them between 10 and 15 years of age, he or she is still eligible for two free catch-up doses before they’re 19. You may contact your local health department for details on how to get them for your teenager.
Influenza, or more commonly known as the flu, is a respiratory illness caused by a virus. In teens, signs and symptoms can include coughing, fever, sore throat, a stuffy nose, fatigue, and chills. Yearly influenza vaccination programs are free for your kids through the National Immunisation Program (NIP).
The meningococcal ACWY vaccine is also available through school immunisation programs courtesy of the NIP for kids between the ages of 14 to 16. If your kids didn’t get the vaccine at school and are between the ages of 15 to 19, they may still get a free catch up vaccine through immunisation providers or even through your family doctor.
This type of vaccine is very important considering that the serious effects of meningococcal disease include loss of limbs, scarring, brain damage, and even death.
Diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough
Your child may have already been given a DTaP vaccine when they were younger. If so, then they can also get a booster shot that strengthens your child’s immune system for better protection against these diseases.
Diphtheria is a bacterial infection that affects a person’s throat and nose, usually causing sore throat, enlarged lymph nodes around the neck area, and difficulty breathing.
Tetanus, also called lockjaw, is another serious bacterial infection that affects the muscles and the nervous system, which may also lead to death. Typical symptoms include muscle spasms, not being able to open your mouth (lockjaw), breathing problems, and fever.
Whooping cough, or pertussis, acts like a common cold that becomes more severe over time, sometimes lasting even 10 weeks or longer. It’s also a bacterial infection that affects the respiratory tract.
You can find out more about where you can get DTaP vaccination or booster shots by reaching out to your local health department or by talking to your doctor.
What if my child has no documented history of vaccination?
Age-appropriate catch-up vaccines are available for your teenagers even if they have no documented history of having vaccinations. You can, however, check with the Australian Immunisation Registrar (AIR) to find out if they have your child’s immunisation history.
There are no significantly serious effects associated with having frequent doses of vaccines apart from a slightly stronger side effect from the DTaP vaccine. This means that even if you’re not sure whether your child has been vaccinated or not when they were younger, it’s still better to have them vaccinated again in their teenage years.
Vaccinations are an important part of public and family health. Because of these vaccines, many of the illnesses that seriously afflicted people in the past are now preventable. With that said, it’s important to remember that even though your children can have a reaction to any vaccine, the benefits of having your teenager vaccinated far outweigh the possible side effects.