For Preteens and Teens (7-18 Years)

This page covers immunization information for preteens and teens age 7 to 18. See the Children page for information on birth to 6 years and the School and Child Care page for school and child care immunization requirement questions.

group of teens smiling in a selfie photo

Why are immunizations important for teens?

Teens need immunizations to stay healthy. Some diseases, like chickenpox, are more dangerous for teens and adults than they are for young children. Two vaccines, HPV and hepatitis B, also protect against certain cancers later in life.

Healthcare providers recommend immunizations for teens to protect against serious diseases. Some of the recommended immunizations for teens are required to attend school in Washington. Read more about that on the school requirements page. The official recommended vaccine list is created by the national Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

Washington Recommendations:

National Recommendations:

All teens need to be up to date with immunizations in the chart.

Vaccine Number of Doses Required for School
Diptheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis (DTaP) 5 Yes
Hepatitis A 2 No
Hepatitis B 3 Yes
Human papillomavirus (HPV) 2 or 3, depending on age at first dose No
Influenza (flu) 1 (yearly) No
Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) 2 Yes
Meningococcal 2 No (but some colleges require it)
MenB 2 No (but some colleges require it)
Polio (IPV) 4 Yes
Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap) 1 Yes
Varicella (chickenpox) 2 Yes

Teens with chronic health conditions like asthma or diabetes, and teens that have weak immune systems, may need more immunizations. Check with your teen's health care provider to find out if they need the following immunizations:

Age or other health conditions may change the number of doses or times when vaccines are due. Always check with your health care provider to find out what your child needs.

What are the immunization requirements for teens?

  • Families can view vaccine requirement charts for schools and child cares on the Immunization Information for Families page. This page also includes required forms, information about exemptions, and how to access vaccines at no cost.

Where can teens get immunizations?

Teens should go to their regular doctor, nurse, school-based health center, or clinic for immunizations. They may also be able to get immunizations at a local pharmacy, their local health department, or a vaccine clinic.

Here are some links to help you find a provider:

When should teens get their immunizations?

Starting at age 4, your child should get a well child checkup every year. When your child is 11 or 12 years-old, they can get several vaccines at that appointment. Your teen can get many of the recommended immunizations before age 11, so ask your provider at each well child checkup. Teens also can get immunizations when they see their health care provider for sports physicals, injuries, mild illnesses, and other visits. Everyone 6 months of age and older, including teens, needs a yearly flu shot.

How much do vaccines cost?

Washington teens younger than age 19 can get immunizations at no cost. You might have to pay a small charge for the office visit or for vaccine administration. However, you can ask for the fee to be waived if you can't afford it. Clinics that get state-supplied vaccine are forbidden by law from denying your child a vaccine because you cannot pay. Most health insurance plans cover preventive health care costs, including vaccination, without applying deductibles or co-pays.

How can I get my child's immunization record?

There are four ways to get your child's record:

  • Option 1: Sign up for MyIR Mobile ( to view and print your family's immunization information, including COVID vaccination.
  • Option 2: Visit your local pharmacy, clinic, or school
  • Option 3: Request a complete immunization record from your healthcare provider
  • Option 4: Request a complete immunization record from the Department of Health

More information about immunization

What other preventive health services do teens need?

Teen health checkups may include health education, screening, and physical exams. Your teen can talk with their healthcare provider about:

  • Immunization
  • Diet/nutrition
  • Exercise
  • Injury prevention
  • Mental health
  • Risk behaviors

Find more children's health and safety resources here.

Does your teen want to learn more on their own? Send them to Teen Health Hub WA for information on many topics written just for them, such as dating and relationships, health care access, sexual and reproductive health, mental health, whole body health, and more.