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Four shots your child needs for middle school

“Big kid” immunizations are just as important as the ones they got as a baby. Help your child stay safe and healthy with these four shots.

By Dr. Andrew Zinkel, M.D., MBA
August 12, 2017

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As a doctor and a dad, it’s my job to help children stay protected — both at home and at work. One of the best ways to do that is to make sure your child is up-to-date on their immunizations. And although it might feel like it’s been a while since you took your child in for a shot (where did the time go?), there’s a batch of immunizations that your child should receive around age 12. These immunizations will help keep them safe. Plus, many are required at school.

Your child’s yearly checkup is a great time to get most of these immunizations checked off the list. You may need a quick follow-up visit for immunizations that require a booster or second dose. Your child’s doctor may recommend them starting around age 11. Check with your doctor to see when they recommend coming in. 

HealthPartners patients: Make an appointment to discuss immunizations with your doctor.

Here are the four immunizations I recommend:

[Click on the image below to view the pdf in a new window or to print]

Have a pre-teen. Immunizations they need by age 12

I really stress that both girls and boys get the HPV shot. This is an important step to help protect girls from cervical and other types of cancers. 

Find more information about immunizations here.

Nobody likes shots. As an adult I still cringe at the thought of getting one. But as a doctor and a parent, I think it’s important to be honest with your child that getting a shot can hurt — but only for a moment. As for what else to discuss, I encourage you to meet your child where they are. If they want a lot of information on the shots, share it with them! If not, simply explain that these shots will help keep them healthy and strong, and protect them from harmful diseases.

Don’t hesitate to talk to your child’s doctor if you still have questions or concerns about these immunizations — and let your child know that they can ask questions at the appointment, too.

These immunizations are a quick way to protect your child against some very serious diseases. And as parents, protecting our kids, even when it’s not easy, is what we’re all about.

Dr. Andrew Zinkel, M.D., MBA

Dr. Zinkel is an academic emergency physician at a large urban level one trauma center half-time. The other half of his time is spent as the Associate Medical Director for Quality at HealthPartners health plan and as Medical Director for HealthPartners online clinic, virtuwell. His favorite part about being a physician and working for HealthPartners is getting to meet people from all walks of life and having the opportunity to help them. Outside of work Dr. Zinkel likes to spend time with his family, cook (Italian being his specialty!) and play on violin and mandolin.

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