Arm of young woman getting vaccinated

Vaccines to Get Before College

Is Your Child Up-to-date with Recommended Vaccines?

Did you know some colleges won’t allow your child to complete freshmen registration without a current vaccine record? Vaccinations protect your child and the community from serious illnesses. Check your child’s immunization history and arrange to get any missing vaccinations. If they aren’t able to get the needed vaccines before leaving for school, vaccines are generally available through the college student health department.

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  • Tetanus-Diphtheria (Td) or Tetanus-Diphtheria-Pertussis (Tdap): An initial series of three or four shots usually given in childhood (DTP or DT), then “boosters” every 10 years thereafter (Td or Tdap).
  • Pertussis (Whooping Cough) (Tdap): A booster dose of pertussis vaccine (administered with tetanus-diphtheria vaccine as Tdap) is recommended for all adolescents and young adults. It can be given regardless of how long it has been since the last tetanus (Td) booster.
  • Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR): Two doses of live virus vaccine, the first given after the first birthday and the second at least a month later.
  • Hepatitis B (HBV): A three-dose series of vaccine is recommended for all young adults prior to entering college.
  • Meningococcal (Meningitis): Current recommendations suggest the vaccination of all adolescents against meningococcal disease with two doses of meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4) or meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine (MPSV4), usually given at age 11 or 12, with a booster dose at age 16. If the first dose was administered before the 16th birthday, a second dose needs to be administered before enrollment in college. Talk to your health care provider if the meningitis B vaccine is also recommended for your child.
  • Varicella (Chickenpox): If your child has not had chickenpox, they need to get immunized with the varicella vaccine. Two doses are recommended.
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV): This three-dose vaccine is recommended for all females ages 11–26 and males ages 11–21.

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