Teenagers may focus on shopping for clothes and snazzy stationery as school begins, but it is important that they get vaccinates to protect their health, according to "Today."
There are four shots that teens should get that may not be on your radar, including two that even a fully vaccinated teen should consider.
Here’s an overview of the shots they should get:
Meningitis — It is recommended that all teens get a vaccination against the bacteria that causes meningitis. It kills one in 10 of those infected and in another 20 percent causes severe disabilities, including the amputation of limbs.
HPV — Although all teens are supposed to have three doses of the human papillomavirus or HPV vaccine, federal health officials say most still don't get them. The viruses are by far the major cause of cervical cancer, which kills 4,000 U.S. women a year, as well as anal and penile cancers in men.
Tdap - The combined tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis vaccine is the adult version of the shot all kids got in elementary school, called Dtap. Some teens who received five doses of the Dtap vaccine during their childhood “are still at risk for whooping cough as well as needing a booster for the tetanus and diphtheria,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat, who heads the vaccine division at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Flu — Flu vaccines are already available in many doctors' offices and clinics and the CDC recommends just about everyone get a flu shot every year. Teenagers can get either a shot or the nasal spray.