Keep Adolescents on Track with Immunizations

You’ll have opportunities to help adolescents catch up on routine vaccinations...during back-to-school season and beyond.

Only about 60% of adolescents are current with immunizations...and things worsened during the pandemic.

Help identify needed vaccines, including COVID-19 and flu...all can be given at the same visit.

HPV. Gardasil 9 should usually be given at age 11 or 12...but the series can be started as young as age 9.

Expect to dispense 2 doses spaced 6 to 12 months apart for most patients who start the series before age 15.

But 3 doses may be needed for patients who start at age 15 and up...or have a weakened immune system (cancer, etc).

Use calendar alerts, etc...to help patients finish the series.

Meningococcal. A dose of meningococcal ACWY (Menactra, MenQuadfi, Menveo) should be given at age 11 or 12...plus a booster at age 16.

Expect Menactra to be phased out this year. But be aware, it’s okay to switch products for the booster.

Read prep instructions carefully. The current Menveo vaccine needs to be diluted...but a new Menveo Solution that doesn’t need to be diluted is in the works. Menactra or MenQuadfi DOESN’T need dilution.

Some patients age 10 and up will also get a series of Bexsero OR Trumenba...for added protection against meningitis B.

Select the same product for all MenB doses...and ask about allergies before administration. The tip caps on Bexsero contain latex...and may cause a reaction in patients with a latex allergy.

Tdap. Be ready to dispense a dose of Adacel or Boostrix for 11- or 12-year-olds...as a booster to the DTaP series (Daptacel, etc) for infants and young kids.

Continue to keep Tdap separate from DTaP in the fridge.

Encourage staying seated for about 15 minutes after any vaccine. Fainting after vaccination seems more common in adolescents.

Go to our Immunization Resource Hub for tools to help ensure your patients are properly vaccinated. And look into our PTU Elite: Immunizations program for training on administration.

Key References

  • JAMA Pediatr. 2022 Jan 1;176(1):68-77
  • https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/hcp/imz/child-adolescent.html (7-27-22)
  • https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/hpv/hcp/recommendations.html (7-27-22)
  • https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/mening/hcp/recommendations.html (7-27-22)
  • https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/dtap-tdap-td/hcp/recommendations.html (7-27-22)
Pharmacy Technician's Letter. August 2022, No. 380805



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