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Immunizations: They're Not Just For Kids

Are your shots up-to-date? Although most adults know that shots play an important role to keep infants and children healthy, many are unaware that they prevent serious illnesses and death among adults. 

Oakland County Health Division suggests that adults get these shots:
  • Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR)
    If you were born after 1956, you need at least one shot of MMR.  Some people will need two shots.
  • Tetanus-diphtheria (Td)
    Everyone needs a Td booster every 10 years.  95% of lockjaw cases are in adults.  Diphtheria is a very serious disease.  It can make a person unable to breathe or cause paralysis (unable to move parts of the body) or heart failure.
  • Pneumonia
    Everyone age 65 or older needs one shot. People who are younger than 65 should get a shot if they have heart, liver, lung or kidney disease.
  • Flu (influenza)
    Everyone who is 50 or older should get a flu shot every year in the fall or early winter.  The flu virus changes from year to year, and the vaccine changes to match the new virus.  For this reason, the shot must be given every year.
  • Hepatitis B
    Hepatitis B is a liver disease that is spread by contact with blood or body fluids of a person who has Hepatitis B.  It attacks the liver and can cause serious illness or death. High risk individuals, such as healthcare workers or those with multiple sexual partners, should get three shots.
  • Hepatitis A
    Hepatitis A is also a liver disease.  It can make you sick for several weeks or months. If you are traveling to a country where food and water may not be clean, you should get two shots.
  • Chickenpox (Varicella)
    Adults who have not had chickenpox should get a blood test to see if they have protection. If you are not protected, you should get two shots of the vaccine.  Chickenpox is a very serious illness in adults.
  • Shingles (Zostavax)
    Adults 60 years and older who wish to reduce their risk of getting shingles should get the zostavax vaccine.
Most of these shots are available at Oakland County Health Division for a low cost. Hours are Mondays, Noon-8:00 p.m. and Tuesday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. We are a walk-in clinic. No appointments are necessary. Shots are given on a walk-in basis and identification is required. Individuals with health care coverage are encouraged to visit their healthcare provider to obtain these shots.

For more information about adult immunizations, call Oakland County Health Division's Nurse on Call at 248-858-1406.