Health Division: The time is now for back-to-school vaccinations

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson and the Oakland County Health Division strongly encourage school-aged children to get the necessary vaccinations as the school year begins. Vaccination is an important step to ensure long-term health and helps protect the health of classmates, friends, relatives, and others in the community.

“Vaccinations defend against many serious diseases and help keep students healthy and in school,” Patterson said. “I strongly recommend everyone to make sure their child is up to date on all vaccinations to protect them and other children at risk of vaccine-preventable diseases.”

In 2017, only 56.2% of Michigan toddlers and 38% of Michigan teens aged 13 to 17 years are up-to-date on all their recommended vaccinations, according to the Michigan Care Improvement Registry (MCIR).

Follow the recommendations below to help protect school-age children from serious diseases:

  • Check your child’s immunization records to determine what vaccines your child needs and catch up on any missed vaccines before the school year begins. Contact your child’s healthcare provider, school, or Oakland County Health Division for more information.
  •  Follow the CDC’s Recommended Immunization Schedule, and work with your healthcare provider to determine what vaccines your child needs.
  •  Get an annual flu shot: Annual flu vaccines are recommended for children 6 months and older. Each year, millions of children get sick from seasonal flu. Thousands are hospitalized and some children die from flu. Children of any age with chronic health problems like asthma, diabetes, and disorders of the brain or nervous system are at especially high risk of serious flu complications.
  •  Get the recommended vaccines for preteens in addition to a yearly flu vaccine:
    •  HPV vaccine protects against HPV infections that can cause cancer later in life.
    •  Tdap is a booster shot to help protect preteens from whooping cough, tetanus, and diphtheria.
    •  Meningococcal conjugate vaccine protects against meningitis, and bloodstream infections (bacteremia or septicemia). These illnesses can be very serious, even fatal.
  • Protect your child from the current hepatitis A outbreak. Hepatitis A is an infection of the liver caused by a virus. Symptoms may include sudden onset of abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, dark urine, tiredness, loss of appetite and/or headache followed by yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice). Vaccination is recommended for everyone and is the best protection against hepatitis A.

“We continue to see vaccine-preventable illnesses in children who are unvaccinated, such as whooping cough and measles, re-emerging in Michigan,” said Dr. Russell Faust, medical director for the Health Division. “This is a strong reminder that vaccines work, and you can protect your children by making sure they are up-to-date on their vaccinations.”

Vaccines are available at the Oakland County Health Division. Pre-payment and registration are not available at these walk-in clinics. Health Division offices are located at the following addresses:

  • North Oakland Health Center, 1200 N. Telegraph Road, Building 34 East, Pontiac
  • South Oakland Health Center, 27725 Greenfield Road, Southfield

If you have insurance, check with your healthcare/insurance provider for possible benefit coverage. The Health Division participates in the Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program which offers vaccines at no cost for eligible children up to 18-years-old. No one will be denied access to services due to inability to pay. A discounted/sliding fee schedule is available. Payment options include cash and credit card. Credit card fees apply. Bring all insurance and identification cards to the clinic.

For more information about immunizations, visit or call Oakland County Nurse on Call at 800-848-5533, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday – Friday. Follow @PublicHealthOC on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for up-to-date public health information.