Vaccination Schedule for Adults and Adolescents

  • Medical Author:

    Dr. Eddie Hooker is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Services Administration at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is also an Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Louisville and at Wright State University. His areas of expertise include emergency medicine, epidemiology, health-services management, and public health.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

What is the meningococcal vaccine, and who should receive it?

Meningococcal disease is a serious acute illness caused by a bacterium. Those infected can develop meningitis and sepsis, and these are often fatal diseases. There are two different quadrivalent meningococcal vaccines that provide protection against meningococcal serogroups A, C, W, and Y (MenACWY, MPSV4). A newer vaccine against meningococcal serogroup B is also now available and should be given to high-risk individuals, with the injection given at the same time as the quadrivalent vaccine but at a different body site. The disease is more common in adolescents and college students. Therefore, meningococcal vaccine is recommended for all children between 11-12 years of age, with a booster dose at 16 years of age. If the child has not received the vaccine by 11-12 years of age, they should receive it up to age 18. College freshmen who have not received the vaccine should be vaccinated. The vaccines are also recommended for adults with special medical conditions. Currently, there is no recommendation for routine immunization of all college student with the serogroup B meningococcal vaccines (MenB) (Bexsero or Trumenba). However, there have been outbreaks of serogroup B meningococcal disease reported on college campuses during the last several years. CDC recommends the use of serogroup B meningococcal vaccines (Bexsero or Trumenba) on college campuses only during outbreaks.

What is the MMR vaccine, and who should receive it?

The MMR vaccine contains vaccines against the diseases measles, mumps, and rubella (German measles). These are all dangerous and potentially fatal diseases that have been successfully limited in the United States through aggressive vaccine programs. Adolescents and adults who have not received the MMR or MMRV (MMR, plus the varicella vaccine) should receive two doses of the vaccine at least one month apart. People who do not have medical documentation of having had the diseases or cannot prove previous vaccination should have titers (blood tests to check levels of immunity) drawn to make sure they are immune to these agents. If they do not have laboratory evidence of immunity, they should receive a two-dose series of vaccine.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/14/2016

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