Immunizations

Chances are you've never had diphtheria, and you probably don't know anyone who has. What about measles, mumps or rubella? In the 19th and early 20th Centuries, tens of thousands of people in the United States, mostly children, died from these illnesses. Yet today, they are all but forgotten, largely due to vaccines.
Immunization Graphic
Our bodies have a natural ability to learn how to fight off many disease-causing germs. Vaccines take advantage of this ability by injecting our immune systems with harmless versions of these germs in order to jump-start our ability to confront them. In essence, vaccines fool our immune systems into thinking there is a real illness occurring. The germs are quickly cleared away and our bodies automatically remember how to protect themselves from these illnesses that they have already encountered.

Remember...shots may hurt a little, but the diseases they prevent can hurt much more. And it's much cheaper to prevent a disease than to treat it.

Childhood Immunizations
All children need to be immunized in order to prevent disease. Children who get their vaccines on time will be safe from many diseases.

Your baby should be immunized at these ages:
  • Birth
  • 2 Months
  • 4 Months
  • 6 Months*
  • 12-15 Months*
  • 18-24 Months*
*All children 6 months through 18 years should get a flu vaccine every year.

The following diseases are preventable with timely vaccinations (click on each for more information):
There are other vaccines that may be suggested for children who have health problems and are traveling outside of the United States. Please contact us for more information.

View an interactive instant childhood immunization scheduler to make sure your child is immunized on schedule.

Teens/College Immunizations
Children aren't the only people that need to be vaccinated. As they get older, the protection from earlier vaccines can wear off, and they also develop risks for more diseases.

The CDC currently recommends these 3 vaccines be given with your child's 11-12 year-old checkup (or as soon as possible, especially if your child is older and has not received the vaccines):
Older children should get the following vaccinations if they did not receive all recommended doses when younger:
Some children may need additional vaccines either due to their own specific health conditions or exposure in households to other people with age-related or health-related risks:
Take the Adolescent and Adult Vaccine Quiz to find out which vaccines you may need (for people age 11 and older).

Here is more information on teen vaccinations you may find useful:
Adult Immunizations
Vaccines are just as important for adults as they are for children. Many adults assume that the vaccines they received as children will protect them for the rest of their lives, which is generally true, except that:
  • Some adults were never vaccinated as children
  • Newer vaccines were not available when some adults were children
  • Immunity can begin to fade over time
  • As we age, we become more susceptible to serious disease caused by common infections (i.e. flu, pneumococcus)
The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) and the CDC recommend the following immunizations for adults:
*Please note that the Shingles, or Zostavax, vaccine is not currently offered at the Grand Traverse County Health Department.

Helpful Links
  • Download a brochure (PDF) from the Michigan Department of Community Health on Adult Immunizations
  • Take the Vaccine Quiz to find out which vaccines YOU may need
  • Read a summary of recommendations (PDF) for adult immunizations
  • Download a form that will help you understand what vaccines might be important to you. Questions on the form will help you and your doctor decide which vaccines you need and when to get them
Adults with no insurance may qualify to receive Tdap, MMR, Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B immunizations for a small administration fee. Call for more details. We will not turn anyone away due to inability to pay.

Older Adult Immunizations
If you are an older adult, it is important for you to know that thousands of older adults die or have serious complications each year from vaccine-preventable diseases.

Protect yourself and your loved ones against these illnesses by getting vaccinated.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that older adults get the following vaccines:
*Please note that the Shingles, or Zostavax, vaccine is not currently offered at the Grand Traverse County Health Department.

Helpful Links
Adults with no insurance may qualify to receive Tdap, MMR, Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B immunizations for a small administration fee. Call for more details. We will not turn anyone away due to inability to pay.

Appointments for Immunizations
Childhood, teen and adult immunizations are provided at the Grand Traverse County Health Department.

Evening appointments are available on the first and third Wednesday of each month. Walk-in clients are accommodated if possible.

International Travel Immunizations
Vaccines for international travel are not offered at Grand Traverse County Health Department.

Recommendations: CDC Website

Other Resources:
  • Spears Travel Clinic - 231-935-5090
  • Cadillac Family Physicians 231-775-2493
  • Kent County Health Department 616-632-7100
Other Resources for Immunizations
Munson Medical Center
Walk-In Pediactric Immunization Clinic
Location: 106 S. Madison, Traverse City
Phone: 231-935-8125

Hours
Saturday and Sunday
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Monday
from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Please bring your insurance card and immunization records if possible.  Children must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.  We accept most insurance providers and Medicaid.  Cash payments are not accepted.  No child will be turned away. 

Private Physicians
Many area physicians offer vaccines at reduced rate for patients without insurance coverage. Ask your doctor if they participate in Vaccines For Children Program.

Vaccines for Children Program

The Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program gives childhood vaccines to eligible children and the government pays for the vaccines. Doctors and clinics give VFC vaccines to children who qualify in order to help kids stay healthy.
Baby Graphic
Eligibility
Children from birth through 18 years of age can get VFC vaccines if they:
  • Are currently on Medicaid
  • Are eligible for Medicaid
  • Do not have health insurance
  • Are American Indian or Alaskan Native
  • Are under-insured
If your health insurance does not pay anything for vaccines, your child may be able to get VFC vaccine. Check with your doctor or contact us at the Health Department.

How much will I have to pay?
We will not charge you for the vaccine, but you may be asked to pay a small administration fee. However, we will not turn anyone away due to inability to pay.

For more information on VFC, visit the CDC's website about the program.