The University of Michigan's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health revealed that more than one-third of parents didn't know when their teens' next immunizations were due, and half the parents believed they'd be notified by the doctor when the teen needed another vaccination.
The poll surveyed 614 parents who had at least one teen between the ages of 13 and 17. Ninety percent of the parents believed that their teen had received all their immunizations, University of Michigan Health release said.
“When kids are little, their pediatricians usually schedule visits to coincide with the timing of recommended vaccinations,” poll co-director Sarah Clark said in the relese. “As children get older, well-child appointments occur less often and health providers may not address vaccines during brief visits for sickness or injury. Many teens may be missing out on important vaccines simply because families aren’t aware it’s time for one.”
Teens may also fall behind on their immunizations because most states don't have vaccination requirements for high school. Children must have their vaccinations or waivers in order to enter elementary and middle school. Without those reminders, parents may not be aware that the current vaccination schedule recommends that teens receive the meningitis vaccine at age 16. In addition, second vaccinations may be overlooked.
“Parents rely on child health providers to guide them on vaccines – in early childhood and during the teen years,” Clark said. “Given the general lack of awareness about adolescent vaccines shown in this poll, there is a clear need for providers to be more proactive for their teen patients.”