It is given at around 14 years old in the UK schedule (usually in school year 9). This is about 10 years after the Pre-school Booster, which is routinely given at 3 years and 4 months.
The Teenage Booster vaccine does not contain any live bacteria or viruses. It cannot cause any of the diseases it protects against.
The Teenage Booster vaccine contains a lower dosage of the diphtheria vaccine when compared to the early childhood vaccines. This is shown by the small ‘d’ in the vaccine title. The teenage immune system is able to respond to this reduced dose because it remembers the previous doses. The side effects are reduced as a result.
The Teenage Booster vaccine can safely be given at the same time as the MenACWY vaccine.
The polio part of the vaccine is grown in the laboratory using animal cell-lines. See more information on animal cell-lines.
It contains a small amount of aluminium which strengthens and lengthens the immune response to the vaccine. This is not a cause for concern. See more information on aluminium in vaccines.
The vaccine may also contain tiny traces of products used during the manufacturing process. Click on the links to see more information on our Ingredients page:
The Teenage Booster vaccine used in the UK does not contain the preservative thiomersal (mercury).
These reactions are common but not serious:
These reactions are rare:
You should consult your doctor if these reactions happen after vaccination. This is mainly to check that it is the vaccine causing the symptoms, and not some unrelated disease.
It is quite common for teenagers to have panic attacks before vaccination, or to faint during vaccination. These should not be confused with reactions to the vaccination itself.
As with any vaccine, medicine or food, there is a very small chance of a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis). Anaphylaxis is different from less severe allergic reactions because it causes life-threatening breathing and/or circulation problems. It is always serious but can be treated with adrenaline. In the UK between 1997 and 2003 there were a total of 130 reports of anaphylaxis following ALL immunisations, but all of these people survived. Around 117 million doses of vaccines were given in the UK during this period, making the overall rate around 1 in 900,000. Depending on the cause of the reaction, and following expert guidance, the person may be able to have vaccinations in the future.
Reactions listed under ‘possible side effects’ or ‘adverse events’ on vaccine product information sheets may not all be directly linked to the vaccine. See Vaccine side effects and adverse reactions for more information on why this is the case.
See more information on the monitoring of vaccine safety.