Ashley Leitner Murphy, Pharmacist in our Health at Hand team

Vaccinations - 13-18 years old


24 September 2019



3-in-1 teenage booster (Revaxis)

13 - 15 years of age

Why? This boosts protection against tetanus, diphtheria and polio. 

Is it for you? It has minimal side effects but those who’ve previously experienced an allergic reaction to similar vaccines (neomycin, streptomycin or polymixin B) wouldn’t receive this booster. 

It may be given at the same time as other vaccines including MMR, the flu vaccine or BCG as the vaccines are injected into different parts of the body.

Side effects are likely to be mild and occur within 2 to 3 days of receiving the booster. Less common side effects may include: loss of appetite, irritability, restlessness, unusual crying and mild fever.

Human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine – (Cervarix, Gardasil)

12-18 years (girls only)

Why? This is usually given to girls in Year 8 at schools in England to protect against cervical cancer (one of the most common types of cancers affecting women under the age of 35) and prevent Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), commonly known as genital warts.

This vaccine is administered into the upper arm in 2 stages between 6 to 24 months apart. This vaccine protects against 2 types of HPV which are collectively responsible for 70% of cancer cases in the UK.

Is it for you? It isn’t recommended to girls who are known to have suffered an anaphylactic, or toxic, reaction to contents of this vaccine. The vaccine should be delayed if the girl is pregnant or has flu symptoms and a high temperature (over 37.5°C).

Girls over the age of 15 may require 3 doses rather than 2, as it’s more effective in that age range. 

Side effects 1 in 10 may experience redness at injection site, bruising, itching, swelling, pain/ cellulitis and a headache.

Meningitis C (Men C) booster (Neisvac C, Meningitec, Menjugate)

13 - 15 years of age

Why? This booster was introduced in September 2013 to extend protection against Meningitis C (Men C) into early stages of adulthood. It’s very effective and has reduced the levels of Meningitis C disease. Since the first Men C vaccine was introduced in 1999, there has been a 95% decrease in cases.

Side effects include swelling, redness and pain around the injection site, fever, and vomiting. Most reactions are mild and short lived. 

MenACWY Vaccine (e.g. Nimenrix, Menveo)

13 - 18 (or up to 25) years of age

Why? The MenACWY vaccine is offered to teenagers and first-time college and university students who haven’t had the vaccine. The vaccine is a single-dose vaccine, administered into the upper arm and contains four different strains of meningococcal bacteria. The groups being vaccinated are as follows:

Schoolchildren aged 13-14 years (school year 9)

This vaccine is offered alongside their 3-in-1 teenage booster as part of the national vaccination programme.

Teenagers born between 1st September 1998 and August 31st 1999

Anyone who falls into this group is advised to arrange vaccination with their GP. Additionally,

Those born on or after 1st September 1996...

... who missed their routine school vaccination in years 9 and 10, or their catch-up MenACWY vaccination can receive the vaccine from their GP up to their 25th birthday.

Extensions of the above groups

Those attending college or university for the first time, who have not yet had their MenACWY vaccine, remain eligible up to their 25th birthday. This includes overseas and mature students.

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