Poll: More than a third of parents don't know when their teen's next vaccine is due

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Parents of high school-age children are often unsure when their child's next vaccine is due, according to a national poll conducted by Ann Arbor, Mich.-based C.S. Mott Children's Hospital.

The survey includes responses from a national sample of 614 parents with at least one teenager, 13 to 17 years.

Here are five findings:

1. Over a third of parents (36 percent) did not know when their teen was due for a vaccination.

2. Around half of the parents assumed their child's physician would initiate an appointment when a vaccine was due, which was incorrect.

3. More than 90 percent of parents thought their teen had received all vaccines recommended for their age.

4. Around 19 percent of parents of teens believed their child did not need any more vaccines.

5. Forty-four percent of respondents noted the provider scheduling an appointment for vaccination was the way they knew their child was due for a vaccine. Around 40 percent of patients said the physician or nurse mentioning vaccination during an office visit was how they knew.

"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," said poll co-director Sarah Clark, an associate research scientist in C.S. Mott Children's Hospital's pediatrics department.

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