Keeping up with your immunization record

Disease prevention for teens and pre-teens starts with maintaining an immunization record.

We don’t often associate serious diseases with young people, but teens and pre-teens are at high risk for serious, communicable diseases if they aren't keeping up with immunizations.

There can be a false sense of security parents and teens feel once they’ve completed their immunization series (those given from birth to age 18). Problems surrounding your level of protection arise when records are incorrect or show inadvertently missed dosages. The accuracy of immunization records are especially concerning if your child has health issues, is leaving for college or is traveling outside of the United States.

Vaccinations can protect your child from becoming critically ill, permanent disability and, in some cases, even death. The CDC provides an easy to follow immunization guide from birth through late adolescence. The Michigan Department of Community Health and the Vaccine Education Center offers this helpful resource:



Dosage needed for full protection


Affects the brain and spinal cord & can be life threatening

One or more dose


Painful tightening of the muscles & can be life threatening

One vaccine (Tdap) protects


Becoming unable to breathe or move body parts

One vaccine (Tdap) protects

Pertussis (Whooping Cough)

Causes coughing and choking making it hard to eat or breathe

One vaccine (Tdap) protects

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

Causes genital warts & cervical cancer

Three shots of HPV vaccine are common for girls 11 years of age and older. Boys can get this vaccine too.

Influenza (Flu)

Causes fever, headache, tiredness, cough, runny or stuffy nose, and sore muscles

Once a year vaccine from six months of age and older

Hepatitis A

Can cause fever, tiredness, loss of appetite, nausea, and jaundice

Two shots of the hepatitis A vaccine

Hepatitis B

Can cause different kinds of liver disease including cancer

Children need three shots of the hepatitis B vaccine

Varicella (Chickenpox)

Causes itchy rash, fever, and tiredness. Can lead to severe skin infections, scars and pneumonia

All school-age children and teens who have NOT had chickenpox, now need two shots of the Varicella vaccine


Causes rash, cough, sore eyes and high fever

MMR vaccine/school aged & teens need two shots of MMR vaccine


Causes fever, headache, and swelling under the jaw

MMR vaccine/school aged & teens need two shots of MMR vaccine

Rubella (German Measles)


Causes fever, rash and soreness/swelling in joints. Pregnant mothers can pass Rubella to unborn babies

MMR vaccine/school aged & teens need two shots of MMR vaccine



Causes flu-like symptoms can lead to paralysis and death

Older children & teens need 3 doses of the polio vaccine

The Michigan Care Improvement Registry (MCIR) is available to track your child’s immunization records from grade school through college. Talk with your healthcare provider to learn more about disease prevention and visit Michigan State University Extension.

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