Immunizations Available in the U.S.

***Not all of the following vaccines are available at the Milwaukee Health Department.  For a list of available vaccines at the Milwaukee Health Department, please see our clinic services page***

Vaccines (immunizations) stimulate our bodies’ immune system to fight off diseases by exposing us to dead or weakened versions of the bacteria or viruses (germs) contained in the vaccine.  Because the germs are dead or weakened, they do not cause disease when they enter our bodies.  The vaccine teaches our body to recognize the disease, which allows are immune system to better fight off the germs and prevent the disease if we were ever to be exposed. 

Vaccines are available against more than 20 diseases.  The following is a list of vaccines currently available in the US, with links to information about the individual vaccines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Vaccines that have been grayed are not routinely recommended.



Chickenpox (Varicella)




Hepatitis A

Hepatitis B Rotavirus
Hib Rubella
HPV Shingles (Herpes Zoster)
Influenza (Seasonal Flu) Smallpox
Japanese Encephalitis (JE) Tetanus
Measles Tuberculosis (TB)
Meningococcal Typhoid
Mumps Yellow Fever

Infant, Child, and Teen Immunizations

Vaccines can’t prevent you or your children from getting minor illnesses like cold, but they can keep you and your children safe from many serious diseases.  See this immunization schedule showing all vaccinations your child should receive by the time they turn 18 years old.  As it shows, immunization begins at birth.  Your child should receive a dose of Hepatitis B vaccine before coming home from the hospital or at their first medical appointment.  Multiple visits are required by your child’s second birthday in order to keep them on track to be immunized on schedule.  It is important to keep your child on schedule to assure they are adequately protected, however, if you do fall behind on a series of shots, you do not need to start that series over.

As your child grows older, vaccination becomes more infrequent, however a flu shot is recommended for anyone regardless of age every year.  When your child turns 11-12 years of age additional vaccinations are recommended.  

For a list of immunizations that are available free of cost at MHD’s walk-in immunization clinics, click here (Spanish).  See our clinic services page for times and locations.

Adult Immunizations

Immunizations are important at any age, and you are never too old to be immunized.  Each year more than 50,000 adults die from vaccine preventable diseases such as influenza and pneumonia.  By getting immunized you protect not only yourself but the people around you.  Additional vaccines have become available since you were a child, so be sure to check with your healthcare provider to be sure that you are appropriately immunized.  The table below provides a summary of which immunizations adults should have, by age.  Some vaccines are only recommended for persons with certain risk factors.

 To see which of the following vaccines are provided by the City of Milwaukee Health Department, please see our clinic services page.


 19-49 years 50-64 years 65 years and older

Hepatitis A (HepA)

You need this vaccine if you have a specific risk factor for hepatitis A virus infection* or you simply wish to be protected from this disease. The vaccine is usually given as 2 doses, 6-18 months apart.

Hepatitis B (HepB)

 You need this vaccine if you have a specific risk factor for hepatitis B virus infection* or you simply wish to be protected from this disease. The vaccine is given as a 3-dose series (dose #1 now, followed by dose #2 in 1 month, and dose #3, usually given 5 months after dose #2)

Human papillomavirus (HPV)

You need this vaccine if you are a woman who is 26 years of age or younger. One brand, Gardasil, can be given to men age 26 years or younger to prevent genital warts. The vaccine is given in 3 doses over 6 months.    
Influenza You need a dose every fall or winter.
Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) You need at least 1 dose of MMR if you were born in 1957 or later. You may also need a second dose.    
Meningococcal If you are a young adult going to college and plan to live in a dormitory, you need to get vaccinated against meningococcal disease. People with certain medical conditions should also receive this vaccine.*
Pnuemococcal You need 1-2 doses if you smoke cigarettes or if you have certain medical conditions. You need 1 dose at age 65 (or older) if you've never been vaccinated. You may also need a 2nd dose.
Tetanus, Diptheria, Pertussis (Td, Tdap) If you haven’t had at least 3 tetanus-and-diphtheria-containing shots sometime in your life, you need to get them now. Start with dose #1, followed by dose #2 in 1 month, and dose #3 in 6 months. All adults need Td booster doses every 10 years. If you’re younger than age 65 years and haven’t had pertussis-containing vaccine as an adult, one of the doses that you receive should have pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine in it—known as Tdap. Be sure to consult your healthcare provider if you have a deep or dirty wound.
Varicella (Chickenpox) If you've never had chickenpox or you were vaccinated but only received 1 dose, talk to your healthcare provider about whether you need this vaccine.
Zoster (Shingles)     If you are age 60 years or older, you should get this vaccine now.

*Consult your healthcare provider to determine your level of risk for infection for this vaccine. Source: Immunization Action Coalition

To see which of these vaccines are provided by the City of Milwaukee Health Department, please see our clinic services page.

Travel Immunizations

Information on travel vaccines varies from country to country, and from week to week, based on what diseases are prevalent at the time, your length of stay and other factors. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides up-to-date travel information at their website

In addition, this site contains information on a great variety of health topics including disease outbreaks, tips on how to avoid illness, travel information for those with special needs and more.

The City of Milwaukee Health Department no longer gives travel vaccinations, but we can help to answer some questions. Please call our Immunization Program at 414-286-8034.

Visiting a specialized travel clinic is recommended. Costs for consultations and medications can vary. Staff at these clinics can also provide good recommendations for protection from food-borne illness and other safety measures. It is important that you make an appointment several months in advance so that you are adequately protected by the time you make the trip.

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