Learn more about immunizations and other common shots. Why was each one created? What are some symptoms you should be aware of? And when should you plan to receive an immunization?
- Get started by clicking an immunization type below.
Flu Shot / Seasonal Influenza Vaccine
Everyone six months and older should get a flu vaccine each year to protect against influenza. The flu shot is designed to protect against the three influenza viruses that are predicted to be the most common that season.
- Flu vaccines are offered from August until the vaccine has been distributed.
- It’s especially important for those who are at high risk to receive the shot: those include pregnant women, young children, adults above 50, those with chronic medical conditions, those who live in long-term care facilities, and health care workers.
- Your body’s immunity declines each year, which is why an annual vaccine is recommended.
- Don’t wait until September or October to make your vaccine “last longer.” Get it as soon as it becomes available in your community.
Chicken Pox Vaccination
The chicken pox vaccine is highly effective in preventing varicella (commonly called chicken pox): nearly 90% of those who are vaccinated never experience a serious case of the pox. This vaccine is also an excellent way to reduce the risk of exposure in your family or community.
- Chicken pox is a highly contagious disease cused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV).
- The disease spreads through the air (coughing and sneezing) or by touching a chickenpox blister.
- When the vaccine was created, nearly 4 million people experienced the disease each year.
- By the time you notice the symptoms of chickenpox, you have already had it for some time and have been contagious.
- Children, adolescents and adults should receive two doses of the vaccine.
Measles is the deadliest of all the childhood illnesses that include a rash and fever. It also spreads easily, and can be prevented easily with the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine, through two doses. Children usually receive the first dose at 12-15 months. The second can be taken as early as 4 weeks later, but can be given before the start of kindergarten.
- The symptoms of measles include fever, runny nose, cough, and a rash that covers the entire body.
- One in 10 children with measles develops an ear infection; one in 20 develops pneumonia.
- Measles spreads through the air (coughing and sneezing) and is highly contagious.
RSV is the more common name of Respiratory Syncytial Virus, a disease that attacks the lungs and breathing passages. Most people can recover from RSV in 1-2 weeks, but some infants, young children and older adults can be susceptible to the disease.
- RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in American children under 1 year old.
- Symptoms include cough, sneezing, runny nose, fever, and a decrease in appetite.
- RSV infections are more prevalent in the United States from November to April of each year.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted virus in the United States. At least 50% of sexually active people will have genital HPV at some time in their lives.
- HPV can infect the mouth and throat. Most people who become infected with HPV do not even know they have it.
- HPV is not the same as herpes or HIV (the virus that causes AIDS). These are all viruses that can be passed on during sex, but they cause different symptoms and health problems.
- A simple vaccine, Cervarix® or Gardasil®, can help protect you. Ask your doctor for more information.