Adolescent vaccinations: updates for the general practitioner

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Purpose of reviewAdolescent providers have a unique opportunity to interface with adolescents during a transformative time period. Optimizing vaccinations may protect teens against preventable but potentially deadly diseases. Healthcare providers must be aware of the evolving vaccination data and up-to-date recommendations for vaccinations.Recent findingsIn spite of the Center for Disease Control recommendations, there is a gap between the actual and desired vaccination rates of adolescents. Tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis, meningococcal against ACWY serotypes, and human papillomavirus (HPV), are vaccinations unique to the adolescent period. There has been a marked increase in pertussis cases over the last 2 decades. Either of the meningitis B vaccines may be given to 16–18 years old and are effective in controlling college outbreaks. Increasing evidence continues to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of the HPV vaccination, although a substantial number of adolescents remain unvaccinated. Fortunately, there are proven strategies to remedy this.SummaryAdolescent providers should be aware of the increase in pertussis cases over the past 2 decades and the Category B recommendation for meningococcal B vaccine at 16–18 years, and they should work towards closing the gap between the actual and desired HPV vaccination rates.

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