(Developed under the editorial guidance of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.)
Treating adolescents requires an approach that combines pediatrics with behavioral health and internal medicine to manage a wide range of conditions, including attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, mood and anxiety problems, sports injuries, sexual and gynecological conditions, and drug and alcohol abuse, in addition to hypertension, lipid disorders, and other “adult” diseases and conditions. With the advent of new vaccines and recent recommendations from the ACIP, adolescents also represent a new age group for immunizations. In addition to annual vaccination with the influenza vaccine and catch-up vaccinations with vaccines initially dosed in childhood, the ACIP currently recommends routine vaccination at the preventive health visit at age 11 to 12 years with 3 vaccines: the MCV4 vaccine, the HPV vaccine, and a booster of the Tdap vaccine.[3,6] Catch-up vaccination is recommended for these vaccines for those 11 to 18 years of age (MCV4 and Tdap) and females 13 to 26 years of age (HPV).[1,2,4] Adolescent recommendations for these 3 vaccines, however, have only been in place for at most 4 years, and coverage rates in adolescents are correspondingly low at around 37% to 42% (see US Adolescent Immunization Strategy section).[5,47] In addition to the issues of parental concern with vaccine safety and other barriers encountered with infant and childhood immunizations, vaccinating adolescents presents a distinct and different set of challenges, some of which are related to the unique concerns of this age group as well as to a lack of awareness of updated vaccination recommendations.
Read the rest of this ‘Medscape’ article here.