State Wellness Center
At the State Wellness Center, we provide adult immunizations for members of the State Employees’ Health Insurance plan (SEHIP) and Local Government Health Insurance Plan (LGHIP) and their covered dependents. Our goal is to make it as easy as possible to receive necessary immunizations for free.
SWC Vaccinations include:
- Annual flu vaccines
- Each year, beginning in the fall, we offer vaccination against the flu. This vaccination is recommended in all people over the age of 6 months who are able to take it. We currently offer flu shots to patients age 12 and older.
- Influenza virus causes fever, headache, cough, chills, fatigue, and muscle soreness. It can also lead to serious complications, especially in children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems. Vaccination protects both you and those around you from the spread of the virus.
- Pneumococcal Caccines (Prevnar 13 and Pneumovax 23)
- Pneumococcal disease is an infection caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria, sometimes referred to as pneumococcus. Often associated with pneumonia, which is an infection of the lungs, pneumococcus can cause other types of illnesses, some of which could be life-threatening, including ear and sinus infections, meningitis (infection of the covering around the brain and spinal cord), and bacteremia (blood stream infection). With more serious infections, like meningitis or bacteremia, it will require treatment in the hospital and even cause death in some cases. Anyone can get pneumococcal disease, but some people are at greater risk for disease than others. Being a certain age or having some medical conditions can put you at increased risk for pneumococcal disease. The best way to prevent pneumococcal disease is by getting vaccinated. Pneumococcal vaccine help protect against some of the more than 90 types of pneumococcal bacteria.
- Prevnar 13® (pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, PCV13) protects against the 13 type of pneumococcal bacteria that cause most of the severe illness in children and adults, and can also help prevent some ear infections. This vaccine is recommended for children at 2, 4, 6, and 12 through 15 months old, and for adults 19 years or older with certain medical conditions, and in all adults 65 years or older.
- Pneumovax 23® (pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine, PPSV23) protects against 23 types of pneumococcal bacteria. It is recommended for all adults 65 years or older and for adults age 19 to 64 years old who have certain medical conditions or habits (eg. asthma, COPD, diabetes, heart or liver disease, smoking, alcoholism).
- Tetanus (Td)
- Tetanus is an infection caused bacteria called Clostridium tetani, which are found everywhere in the environment, including soil, dust, and manure. Tetanus is different from other vaccine-preventable diseases because it does not spread from person to person. Instead, the bacteria enter the body through breaks in the skin, usually through injuries from contaminated objects. The most common initial sign of tetanus is spasms of the jaw muscles, or “lockjaw”, that can result in the infected person unable to open his/her mouth. Tetanus can then lead to more serious complications, including bone fractures, uncontrollable muscular contraction of the vocal cords, and difficulty breathing possibly leading to death (10 to 20% of cases are fatal). Although tetanus is uncommon in the United States, nearly all the cases are among people who have never received the tetanus vaccine or did not stay up to date on their vaccination. Being fully immunized is the best tool to prevent tetanus, and tetanus vaccines are recommended for people of all ages, with booster shots throughout their life, usually every 10 years.
- Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis (TDaP)
- Tetanus (lockjaw) is a serious disease that causes painful tightening of the muscles, usually all over the body, and can lead to death in about 1 in 10 cases. (For more information on tetanus, see Td vaccine).
- Diphtheria causes a thick covering in the back of the throat leading to breathing problems, paralysis, heart failure, and even death. Diphtheria is spread from person to person, usually through respiratory droplets from coughing or sneezing, or by touching any object contaminated with the bacteria that cause diphtheria. Even with treatment, about 1 in 10 people with diphtheria die.
- Whooping Cough (pertussis) is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection that can become a very serious infection, particularly in infants. People with whooping cough usually spread the disease by coughing or sneezing while in close contact with others, who then breathe in the bacteria that can cause the disease. When babies catch whooping cough, the symptoms can be very serious. Young babies could get pneumonia (lung infection), and many have trouble breathing. About half of babies younger than 1-year-old who get whooping cough end up hospitalized. This infection can cause babies to stop breathing, and a few have even died from the disease (1 out of 100 babies who get treatment in the hospital die).
- The best way to prevent these diseases is by getting vaccinated. TDaP vaccination is recommended for pregnant women between 27 through 36 weeks of pregnancy during each pregnancy. By getting the TDaP during pregnancy, mothers build antibodies that are transferred to the newborn, providing protection against pertussis early in life, before the baby can start getting vaccinated at 2 months old. This also protects mothers, making them less likely to transmit pertussis to their babies. It is also recommended to vaccinate everyone who will be around the baby, such as parents, siblings, grandparents (including those 65 years and older), other family members, etc. They should receive this week at least 2 weeks before coming in contact with the baby. Unless pregnant, only one dose of TDaP is recommended in a lifetime. Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect you and your precious little loved ones.
- Herpes Zoster
- Shingles (herpes zoster) is a painful skin rash caused by the varicella zoster virus, the same virus that causes the chickenpox. If you’ve had chickenpox, you are at risk of getting the shingles. Almost 1 out of every 3 people in the United States will develop shingles in their lifetime, and the risk increases as you get older. There are an estimated 1 million cases of shingles each year in this country, with half of all cases occurring in adults 60 years old or older. Shingles appears as a blistering rash that develops on one side of the face or body, typically scabbing over in 7 to 10 days, and clearing up within 2 to 4 weeks. Before the rash appears, people will often have pain, itching, or tingling in the area where the rash will develop, anywhere from 1 to 5 days before the rash appears. The most common complication is severe pain where the shingles rash was, and this pain can be debilitating. Unfortunately, there is no treatment or cure from this pain, and as people get older, they are more likely to develop the long-term pain as a complication. Shingles can also involve the eye, possible leading to a loss of vision. Adults age 60 or older should consider receiving the one-time dose of the shingles vaccine, as it can reduce your risk of the shingles and the long-term pain it can cause.
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis B is a contagious and serious disease caused by a virus that attacks the liver. The hepatitis B virus (HBV) can cause lifelong infection, cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver, liver cancer, liver failure, and death. HBV spreads through blood or other body fluids that contain small amounts of blood from an infected person. People can spread the virus even when they have no symptoms. The best way to protect against hepatitis B is by getting the hepatitis B vaccine. The vaccination schedule most often used has been a series of 3 injections, with the second and third administered 1 and 6 months after the first, respectively. You should get the hepatitis vaccine if you have sex with or live with someone with HBV infection, have multiple sexual partners, seek care in a clinic for sexually transmitted diseases or drug treatment, you are a man who has sex with other men, inject drugs, have a job that involves contact with human blood, you are on staff or client of an institution for the developmentally disabled, are on hemodialysis or have end-stage renal disease, HIV infection, have chronic liver disease, have diabetes and are under age 60, or if you live or travel for more than 6 months a year in countries where HBV is common.
- Meningococcal disease is caused by a bacterium called Neisseria meningitides. Meningococcal disease is spread from person to person, mainly during close contact with the exchange of respiratory or throat secretions (eg. coughing or kissing), or lengthy contact, especially if living in the same household. Therefore, people in the same household as someone with meningococcal disease, such as a roommate, or anyone with direct contact with a patient’s oral secretions, such as a boyfriend or girlfriend, would be at increased risk. Fortunately, these bacteria are not as contagious as germs causing the common cold or the flu, as it is not spread by casual contact or by breathing the same air where someone with meningococcal disease has been. Certain people are at increased risk for meningococcal disease such as children, adolescents, and young adults, communities of large group gatherings (eg. college campuses), those with certain medical conditions, if you work in a laboratory working with Neisseria meningitides, or if you travel to the meningitis belt in sub-Saharan Africa. Keeping up to date with recommended vaccinations is the best defense against meningococcal disease. The available meningococcal vaccines help protect against all three serogroups of meningococcal disease that are most commonly seen in the United States. The quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine (Menactra® or Menveo®) should be given to adolescents age 11 or 12 years old with a booster given at age 16 years. If the first dose was given to an adolescent between ages 13 through 15 years, a booster at age 16 through 18 years is recommended. Adolescents who receive their first dose of the vaccine at or after age 16 years do not need a booster dose.
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
- HPV is a group of more 150 related viruses, with some types causing genital warts and cancer, especially cervical cancer. There are more than 40 HPV types that can infect the genital areas of males and females, but there are vaccines that can prevent infection with the most common types of HPV. HPV is a very common virus, infecting nearly 80 million people, or 1 in 4, in the United States. HPV is transmitted through intimate skin-to-skin contact, with it being the most common sexually transmitted infection. HPV is so common that nearly all sexually active men and women get it at some point in their lives, and it can be passed even when an infected person has no signs or symptoms. Symptoms can develop years after you’ve been infected. Though most HPV infections go away on their own, some HPV infections persist. HPV infections that don’t go away can cause changes in the cells of the infected area that can lead to genital warts or cancer. Cervical and other associated cancers (cancers of the vulva, vagina, penis, anus, and cancers of the back of the throat including tongue and tonsils) may not have signs or symptoms until it is quite advanced and hard to treat. The HPV vaccine is given as a 3 shot series, with the second shot given 1 or 2 months after the first, and the third shot given 6 months after the first shot. The CDC recommends receiving the full 3-dose HPV vaccine series for the most protection. It is recommended to start the vaccination series at age 11 or 12 to provide protection before ever being exposed to the virus. Women can receive the HPV vaccine up to the age 26, while men can receive it up to the age 21. The vaccine is also recommended for any man who has sex with men or men with weak immune systems through age 26.
Pharmacists are immunization experts and a convenient resource for information about immunizations. If you have a question concerning immunizations, call us today at 334-263-8470 and ask to speak to a pharmacist.
Last Updated: May 16, 2017