Immunizations

The Erie County Department of Health provides immunizations to children, adolescents, and adults.  For information on the eligibility criteria for vaccines and appointments, please call 814-451-6777.  Parents or guardians over the age of 18 years must accompany children under 18 years to an appointment.  Previous Immunization Records must be brought to the appointment.  Always keep an up-to-date record of your immunizations.

Adult Immunizations

The need for immunizations doesn’t end with childhood.  Each year, thousands of adults in the U. S. suffer serious health problems, are hospitalized, or even die from diseases that could be prevented by vaccines, including influenza, whooping cough, certain bacterial infections, hepatitis A and B, shingles and even some cancers such as cervical cancer and liver cancer.

Protection from some childhood immunizations wears off over time, leaving you vulnerable to disease.  For example, there has been a rise in cases of whooping cough in the past few years, with more than 48,000 cases being reported in 2012.  We have learned that the protection from DTaP whooping cough vaccine given to children doesn’t last into adulthood, so all adults are now recommended to get one dose of Tdap whooping cough vaccine if they did not receive it as an adolescent.

Adults may be recommended for certain vaccines due to their age, job, hobbies, travel or health condition.  Other vaccines may be recommended if they didn’t get certain vaccines as children.

Some adults, including older adults and those who have chronic health conditions, may be at higher risk for serious complications from some vaccine-preventable diseases.  For example, because older age increases the chance of getting shingles, CDC recommends that adults get the shingles vaccine once they turn 60 years old.  People with diabetes, heart disease and COPD or asthma, even if well managed, are more likely than those without these conditions to have complications from the flu.  To prevent possible complications like pneumonia, people with these chronic conditions should get a pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine in addition to a yearly flu vaccine.

Adult immunization also helps prevent the spread of certain diseases to loved ones and those in the community who are most vulnerable to disease (like infants and those with weakened immune systems).

Talk with your doctor to find out which vaccines are right for you.

Want to Learn More?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers more information on vaccines and a adult vaccine quiz to find out which vaccines you might need.  The Erie County Department of Health has vaccines available to people of any age who don’t have insurance.  Call 814-451-6777 for more information.