What does My Child or Family Need?
The goal of the Calhoun County Immunization program is to protect the public’s health from vaccine-preventable diseases. The Health Department offers clinics in multiple settings to promote complete immunization of all citizens. Children receive immunizations before they start school. Flu shots are given in the fall and winter months.
Many people find vaccinations confusing and complex. CCPHD strives to assist parents in getting their children vaccinated to avoid life threatening disease and to meet the requirements established for enrollment in schools. Immunizing your children is the best way to protect them against preventable diseases.
Immunization requirements are summarized below.
HPV: Teenage children are more prone to HPV (Human Papillomavirus Vaccine) and meningitis exposure. Young girls, who are sexually active, are especially vulnerable for contracting HPV which can lead to some cervical cancers later in life. This is why it is important to have these adolescents receive the three required doses of HPV vaccine between the ages of 13 and 26.
MCV4: Young adults living in a dormitory setting should be vaccinated against meningococcal disease. Meningitis can be dangerous and even life threatening.
Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis) booster should be administered to 11-12 year olds who have completed the childhood series. In addition, 13-18 year olds who missed their vaccination during the 11-12 year time frame should be given the vaccine five years after the last Td or DTaP. This vaccine protects against Pertussis (frequently known as Whooping cough). Several cases of Pertussis occur in Calhoun County every year in both adults and children. Infants under the age of 6 months are at high risk of complications or even death if they are exposed to this disease.
Hepatitis B is a disease that can be transmitted by sexual contact but some studies indicate that it can be transmitted by the exchange of saliva. The Hepatitis vaccine is very effective at preventing this disease. Hepatitis can lead to liver cancer later in life and usually goes undetected for a long time due to the subtle symptoms this disease exhibits.
Polio still exists in some countries in the world and a traveler can bring this back to a child who has not been vaccinated. This reality contradicts parent’s belief that is, if all other children are vaccinated, and then their child doesn’t need to get immunized. This is called the "herd theory" of protection. As long as there is global travel, we are at risk for having these diseases emerge in our country.
MMR (Measles, mumps, and rubella) present another series of potential problems. Mumps can leave an adolescent male unable to have children. Measles lead to hospitalization for 1/5 of people who contract this disease. Rubella can be dangerous to a pregnant mother as this disease can cause fetal damage.
Varicella (chickenpox) vaccines should be given to any who has not had chickenpox or any teenager who received only one dose as a child. These teens should get another dose now.
Considering not immunizing your child? Parents should be aware of the problems associated with an unvaccinated child. First, they leave their child open to contracting disease. Second, a child must remove their child from day care or school if another child in the school or in a day care tests positive for any of these contagious diseases. This occurs even if a parent has signed a waiver to exempt their child from being vaccinated.
Do adults need vaccines? Adults are not exempt from needing vaccinations either. Adults who have small children or work with children should also get a booster for many of these diseases. There is a vaccine that guards against many strains of pneumonia and Shingles. If you are 50 or older you can receive the Zoster vaccine (shingles) and if you are 65 or older you can receive the pneumococcal vaccine.
Flu: Everyone over the age of 6 months should get their flu vaccine every year. You will protect those babies less than 6 months of age who cannot receive the vaccine and are vulnerable for serious complications. You will also avoid lost time at work, school, or even an unnecessary hospitalization.
International Travelers: Vaccines are often necessary to protect people traveling internationally. "International" vaccines will soon be offered here at the Calhoun County Public Health Department. Visits will be provided by appointment only.
If you have any questions, concerns, or want to receive vaccinations, contact your health care provider or call the Calhoun County Public Health Department at 269-969-6363 for more information.
Immunizations are provided at the following locations:
Battle Creek Health Department
190 E. Michigan Avenue
Monday - Thursday, 8am – 11am and 1pm – 3:30pm
Friday, 8am - 11am
Albion Health Department
101 N. Albion Street
Tuesday, 8am – 12pm and 1pm – 5pm by appointment only
Wednesday, 8am - 11am and 1pm - 4pm (walk-in)
Fees can be found by clicking the "Fee Schedule" icon at the top of the page.