“In addition to the routine immunizations given at birth, we urge parents to protect preteens by having them vaccinated against diseases such as meningitis, tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough, and cervical cancer. Research shows that preteens generally do not get preventive healthcare,” said Joshua Meyerson, MD, Medical Director for the Health Department of Northwest Michigan. "Many parents do not realize that some childhood vaccines, such as those for tetanus and whooping cough, wear off over time and, as they get older, young people are at risk of exposure to different diseases at school, camp or in other new situations.”
Adults and the elderly, especially those with underlying health concerns, should receive an annual flu shot as well as age-appropriate shots to guard against tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella, meningococcal, and Hepatitis A and B, Meyerson said.
The Health Department of Northwest Michigan is mandated by the Michigan Public Health Code to promote wellness, prevent disease, provide quality healthcare, address health problems of vulnerable populations, and protect the environment for the residents and visitors of Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, and Otsego counties. Through a centralized statewide immunization registry, Health Department staff can help identify the “shots” everyone in the family needs. Immunization appointments are available at Health Department offices in Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, and Otsego counties. For additional information, call 800-432-4121 or visit www.cdc.gov/vaccines.