The HPV vaccine is recommended by the Centers for
Disease Control for both males and females and is
recommended to be given starting at 11 years old. It can
be given as early as nine years and can be given through
adolescence. It is given as two or three shots, depending
on the age of the first vaccine. Since HPV is spread
through sexual contact, it is ideally administered prior to
first sexual contact.
The HPV vaccine reduces risk of serious disease or cancer
by up to 97-100 percent if given before first sexual
contact. The vaccine is safe, but there are known side
effects such as soreness and swelling at the injection site,
fever, headache, and feeling faint after the injection.
Some parents consider the HPV vaccine controversial
because it is given to prevent a sexually transmitted
disease. Because the vaccine is typically given at 11
years old, some parents may be uncomfortable having a
discussion about sex with their children.
Dr. Brazell is a Pediatrician at
Flagler Health+ Primary Care
and Pediatrics at Palencia
What vaccines are recommended at each
stage of a child’s growth - early childhood,
upon entering school, transitioning to
middle school and entering college?
Most vaccines for children are given in infancy up to
entering school. These include Hepatitis B starting
within the first 24 hours after birth. Subsequently, at
ages two, four, and six months old, a child normally
receives the remaining doses of Hepatitis B along with
Diptheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (whooping cough), Polio,
Pneumonia vaccine, Haemophilus influenzae, and
Rotavirus (responsible for diarrhea – an oral medication).
From a year old to four years old, they will be vaccinated
against Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Varicella (chicken
pox), and Hepatitis A along with finishing up the series
of vaccines given as an infant. The next big round of
vaccines occurs when the child is around middle school
age of 11 years old when they get a booster of Tetanus,
Diptheria, and Pertusis along with the Meningitis
vaccine covering strains ACWY and their HPV (Gardasil)
Vaccine. At 16, before entering college, children are
then due for a second Meningitis vaccine covering
ACWY along with another that covers strain B (MenB).
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