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4 Vaccines Your Teen Needs ASAP

With all the talk about the vaccines babies need, it's easy to overlook the vaccines that teens need. But there are four vaccines that should be on your parental radar as your teenager gets ready to head back to school, as reported on Today.com and recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

1. Meningitis

Teens should get vaccinated against bacteria that can cause meningitis. It's likely that a child got a dose of the vaccines at 11 or 12, and is recommended that they get a second dose at high-school age. Bacterial meningitis kills one in 10 of those infected and in another 20 percent causes severe disabilities, including the amputation of limbs.

MORE: Delaying Common Vaccine Could Cause Seizures

2. HPV

The human papillomavirus or HPV vaccine protects against viruses that cause a range of cancers and genital warts, and most adults eventually get infected with the virus. There's a new vaccine that protects against nine different strains of the virus, which are responsible for about 15 percent of cervical cancers.

3. Tdap

The combined tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis vaccine is the adult version of the shot all kids got in elementary school. Teens who got five doses already in early childhood of the Tdap vaccine are still at risk for whooping cough, and also need a booster for the tetanus and diphtheria. Also, pregnant women should get a Tdap shot because it can protect their newborn until the baby is old enough to get vaccinated.

MORE: Autism Advocacy Group Supports Vaccinations

4. Flu

Flu vaccines are already readily available and the CDC recommends just about everyone get a flu shot every year. Teenagers can get either a shot or the nasal spray.

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