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Preventive Guidelines - Adolescents

Blue Cross of Idaho is pleased to provide the following guidelines as an important starting point for you and your family. The following recommendations were derived from a number of professional sources. They are guidelines only and should not be used as a substitute for your doctor's medical judgment.

Age: 7 - 18 years

Immunizations

  • Varicella (chickenpox) - Children should get 1 dose of chickenpox vaccine between 12 and 18 months of age, or at any age after that if they have never had chickenpox. People who do not get the vaccine until 13 years of age or older should get 2 doses, 4-8 weeks apart.
  • Hepatitis B (Hep B) - if not previously immunized, you can begin the immunization process at any time. Everyone under 18 years of age should be immunized. People should get 3 doses of hepatitis B vaccine with the second dose given at least 1 month after the first and the third dose given at least 2 months after the second and at least 4 months after the first. If you miss a dose or get behind schedule, get the next dose as soon as you can. There is no need to start over. All three doses are needed for full and lasting immunity.
  • Tetanus (lockjaw), diphtheria (Td) booster - At 11-12 years of age and every 10 years after that you should get a booster to prevent diphtheria and tetanus.
  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) booster - Children should get 2 doses of MMR vaccine; the first at 12-15 months and the second at 4-6 years of age. These are the recommended ages. But children can get the second dose at any age, as long as it is at least 28 days after the first dose.
  • Influenza - Children less than 9 years old need two shots, given one month apart, the first time they get vaccinated against influenza. People 9 years of age and older need one shot given annually.

For more information, you can contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at: 1-800-232-2522 (English) or 1-800-232-0233 (Espanol), or, visit the National Immunization Program Web site.

Screening

Height, weight and blood pressure should be measured at each yearly preventive health visit. Pap smear and chlamydia screen should be administered in females who are sexually active.