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You may not know it, but adults need immunizations because some vaccines received in childhood will not protect you for the rest of your life. And while some vaccines will never need to be refreshed, you may be at risk if you never were vaccinated as a child. And even with vaccination, immunity to some diseases fades over time. 

Older adults can benefit from immunizations, because you can become more susceptible to serious diseases caused by common infections like the flu as you age. And newer vaccines may not have been available when you were a child. 

The Health Department offers routine immunizations for adults, depending upon your individual needs.


Adult immunizations at the department may include some or all of the following:


Tetanus diphtheria / Tetanus diphtheria and pertussis (Td/Tdap)

Tetanus occurs worldwide. An acute, often fatal disease, it affects the central nervous system, producing stiffness or muscular rigidity. Tetanus can be localized, with muscle contractions where the infection began, or it can be generalized, affecting the whole body. About 80 percent of reported tetanus cases are generalized. The incubation period ranges from 2 to 50 days, but symptoms usually occur 5 to 10 days after infection. The shorter the incubation period, the greater the chance of death.


Pertussis (whooping cough) is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection. Most children are protected against pertussis by vaccination during childhood, but immunity wanes over time, leaving adolescents and adults unprotected. Adults should be vaccinated is once every ten years, but in the event of an injury the vaccine may be administered at five-year intervals.


Hepatitis B (Hep B):

Hepatitis B is a serious liver disease caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV) that can affect people of any age. Some people are never able to rid themselves of the virus, and long-term HBV infection can lead to liver cirrhosis, liver cancer and death. Found in the blood and body fluids of infected people, the virus is most often spread among adults through sexual contact or by sharing needles and other drug paraphernalia with an infected person. HBV-infected persons can also spread the disease in their households;an HBV-infected mother can pass the virus to her infant during birth.


Adults considered at risk are advised to receive a series of three injections administered in the following manner:

  • An initial dose
  • Second dose 2 months later
  • Third dose six months after the initial dose


Hepatitis A (Hep A):

Hepatitis A, (formerly known as infectious hepatitis), is an acute infectious disease of the liver caused by Hepatitis A virus,most commonly transmitted by the fecal-oral route via contaminated food or drinking water. Every year, approximately 10 million people worldwide are infected with the virus.The time between infection and the appearance of the symptoms, (the incubation period), is between two and six weeks, with an average incubation period of 28 days.


Adults considered at risk are advised to get a series of two injections administered in the following manner:

  • An initial dose
  • One dose six months after the initial dose


Human Papillomavirus (HPV):

 Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a papillomavirus that infects the skin and mucous membranes. Approximately 130 HPV types have been identified. Some HPV types can cause warts (verrucae) or cancer, while others have no symptoms.


Adults considered at risk are advised to get a series of three injections administered in the following manner:

  • An initial dose
  • Second dose 2 months following initial dose
  • Third dose six months after the initial dose


Influenza (Flu):

The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccination each year. Flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It causes mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. An average 5% to 20% of the U.S.population gets the flu every year, with more than 200,000 people hospitalized for flu complications; about 36,000 people die from flu. Older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions are at high risk for serious flu complications.



Meningococcal disease is a severe bacterial infection of the bloodstream or meninges (a thin lining covering the brain and spinal cord), caused by the meningococcus germ.


Anyone can get meningococcal disease, but it is more common in infants and children. Some adolescents, such as first-year college students living in dormitories, face an increased risk of this disease. Approximately 2,500 people are infected every year in the U.S., and 300 die from the disease. If a person in your household has this disease, if your immune system is compromised, or if you travel to parts of the world where this disease is prevalent, you may be at risk.


Adult immunization fee schedule:

The Hickory County Health Department does not have access to all adult vaccines free of charge, but we are able to offer these vaccines at cost as illustrated below:

 Vaccine Cost per Dose ($)

  • Hepatitis B - $33
  • Hepatitis A - $25
  • Twinrix (Hepatitis A and B) - $45
  • Zostovax -  $varies