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Don't neglect your teen's immunizations

The Doctors | 9/26/2013, 8 p.m.

USA WEEKEND Health

According to some government statistics, many pre-teens and teens aren't getting the shots they need. Here are four recommendations to discuss with the doctor:

Tdap vaccine

When to get it: 11 or 12 years old. This combined immunization protects against three serious diseases: tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis.

HPV vaccine

When to get it: 11 or 12 years old. Human papillomavirus vaccines protect both girls and boys from HPV infection and diseases caused by HPV. It's important to complete the series of shots long before sexual activity begins, so the body has time to develop protection.

Meningococcal conjugate vaccine

When to get it: 11 or 12 years old; then a booster shot at 16. Known as MCV4, it protects against some of the bacteria that can cause meningitis and sepsis.

Flu vaccine

When to get it: Annually. Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every year. Schedule an appointment to get it for your kids as soon as it becomes available, usually in the fall.

The Doctors is an Emmy-winning daytime TV show with pediatrician Jim Sears, OB-GYN Lisa Masterson, ER physician Travis Stork, and plastic surgeon Andrew Ordon. Check www.thedoctorstv.com for local listings.

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