New vaccination program
available to adults in Houston County
Tuesday, July 06, 2010 8:37 AM
Are you an adult age 19 or older and behind in your immunizations due to your health insurance not covering vaccines, a lack of insurance, or on a state health plan or medical assistance?
Houston County Public Health has an adult vaccine program available for a limited time to help adults get their vaccines up-to-date.
"The Minnesota Department of Health received funding through the stimulus package for a program to help adults get caught up on their immunizations," explained Houston County Public Health immunization coordinator Mary Thompson.
Immunizations given through this program will cost $14.50 for the first injection and $5 for the second and third injections given on the same visit.
"If someone really can't afford this fee, we will give them the vaccination for free," added Thompson. "It is important to have adults caught up on their vaccinations."
This program is not available at private clinics, only at public health. It will run through the summer and into the fall if vaccines are still available.
"Vaccines are expensive and have an expiration date," explained Thompson. "We can order as much as we need, but we don't want to waste any of them either, so we are encouraging adults to come in and get caught up on vaccines that they may have been putting off due to cost."
Vaccines that are available through this program are Tdap, tetanus, Pneumovax, chickenpox, MMR, Hepatitis B and HPV.
Tdap is for adults through age 64 and includes whooping cough. "There has been a resurgence of whooping cough in the United States," said Thompson.
"It is really dangerous for babies, who can't have the vaccine until they are 2 months old, so if we can cut down on the occurrence of it in the general population, then babies will be safer."
Tetanus vaccine is needed every 10 years unless a person has a "dirty" or contaminated injury, then it is required every five years.
Pneumovax in the past has been targeted to those 65 and older or who have heart disease. However, now there is a new guideline that says anyone age 19 and up who has asthma or smokes should get the vaccine.
Chickenpox and MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) are common illness that most adults are likely to have had as children; however, if they have not had these, it is important to get the vaccination.
Hepatitis B is a series of three vaccinations and is available for anyone who would like to receive it. It is given universally to all newborns in the hospital and completed at later checkups.
It is required for some jobs situations, such as in the healthcare profession or school settings. It is also important for someone to get if they will be traveling internationally.
HPV, also known as Gardasil, helps to prevent cervical cancer and is targeted to girls ages 11 and 12. Through this program, girls ages 19 to 26 can receive the vaccine. It is a series of three and very expensive when given outside of this program.
If interested in participating in this vaccination program, contact Houston County Public Health at (507) 725-5810, to set up an appointment.
If not sure what immunizations you have had or when, they can check in the Minnesota and Wisconsin State Registry to find this information (as long as the past immunizations were received in either one of these states).