Where Can I Get Flu Shots and other Vaccinations Close to Me?

Immunizations

Whether you’re concerned about getting an infant off to a healthy start, sending your kids off to school—from kindergarten to college—or keeping yourself protected from the flu or shingles, the primary care physicians at Penn Highlands Family Medicine Clinics can help.

Why Get Immunizations?

There are many essential and lifesaving vaccines that both children and adults need to stay healthy and to protect those around them from becoming ill. Certain groups of people—those who are too young or whose immune system can’t tolerate vaccines—can’t get some vaccines, so they rely on “community immunity” to protect them. Community immunity is when enough people get immunized against a specific disease that the chances of it spreading from person to person decrease, making the community as a whole safer.

Many vaccines are not a “one and done” solution, so it is important to keep up to date with boosters, annual shots like those for the flu, and multi-part vaccines like HPV. You also want to ensure that you keep good written records as proof of vaccinations will be required by most schools and some employers.

Who Needs the Flu Shot?

One of the easiest items to add to your immunization to-do list is an annual flu shot. Typically, the vaccine cuts your risk of getting the flu in half, and if you do get the flu, having the shot can lessen the severity and duration of your symptoms. A new flu vaccine is formulated every year based on the strain most likely to affect the United States. Even if this year’s flu vaccine doesn’t end up matching the strain in your community, there is evidence that over time annual vaccines provide protection to all types of flu strains or reduce the severity of symptoms.

There are some people who cannot get a flu shot, including:

  • Babies younger than 6 months old
  • People who have had Guillain-Barré Syndrome (an immune system disorder)
  • People who have had a life-threatening reaction to the vaccine in the past or to any ingredient in the vaccine, such as eggs

Penn Highlands offers annual flu shot clinics at convenient times and at dozens of locations throughout the region in October. And you can get a flu shot from your primary care physician or at one of the Penn Highlands Family Medicine Clinics any time during flu season (October to January). Flu vaccines last one year, so the earlier the better! Most insurance providers will cover flu shots, and we can bill your insurance, including Medicare and all Medicare Advantage plans. If you’re paying out-of-pocket, please ask for the price at the time you schedule your appointment.

Schedule your flu shot with your primary care provider or visit one of our flu shot clinics.

What Vaccinations do Kids Need?

Every parent should talk to their child’s primary care physician about the proper immunization schedule. Here is a list of the basic vaccinations most children and adolescents need:

  • DTaP/Tdap vaccines protect against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (whooping cough)
  • Flu shot
  • Hib vaccine protects from influenza type B
  • Hepatitis A and B
  • HPV vaccine protects against the human papillomavirus, which can cause cancer
  • IPV protects against polio
  • Meningococcal conjugate and serogroup B meningococcal vaccines protect against meningococcal disease
  • MMR protects against measles, mumps, and rubella
  • PCV13 vaccine protects against pneumococcus
  • RV protects against rotavirus
  • Varicella vaccine protects against chickenpox

What Vaccinations do Adults Need?

In addition to an annual flu shot, adults should talk with their primary care physician about the following vaccinations:

  • Td to protect against tetanus and diphtheria
  • Herpes zoster vaccine to protect against shingles
  • Pneumococcal conjugate and/or pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccines
  • Hepatitis A and/or hepatitis B
  • Meningococcal conjugate or serogroup B meningococcal vaccine
  • Regionally specific vaccines if you plan to travel to certain countries. This could include: typhoid, cholera, hepatitis A and B, malaria, meningococcal disease, and yellow fever

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