Time for Your Shots!
Pediatricians know that the 11-year wellness visit has a packed agenda. As patients transition into middle school life, puberty is ongoing if not already in full swing. Many times, patients have not made annual visits during later elementary school years, so catching up on previous or chronic medical problems becomes necessary. Anticipatory guidance alone could take up a significant portion of the visit. Then, there is the last, but certainly not least: vaccine boosters.
The number of vaccines recommended at middle school age seems to be increasing and discussion about vaccination can take time. Barriers such as parental preconceptions or misinformation and patient resistance to receiving a shot can make compliance with recommendations a challenge. The opportunity to provide immunity may be lost if vaccines are not administered the same day because teens infrequently visit a primary care provider.