What are immunizations?
Immunizations are shots with medicine that protect you from different diseases.
Immunizations are also called vaccinations.
When you get an immunization, you decrease your chances of getting sick.
There are immunizations for many different types of diseases.
People may get immunizations for:
Measles, Mumps, and Rubella
Tetanus and Diphtheria
Chickenpox and Shingles
Which immunizations do I need?
That depends on:
Whether you are a man or a woman
How old you are
Immunizations you have already received
Diseases you are at risk for
Ask your doctor about which immunizations you should get.
Your doctor will probably:
Look at your medical records
Review your health history
Talk to you
Recommend which immunizations you need
Some immunizations last for many years; some you need to get each year.
For instance, most people get a flu vaccine every year.
Other immunizations, like tetanus, you only need to get once every 10 years.
Getting immunizations is a life-long process
What happens when I get an immunization?
Most immunizations are given in an injection.
The doctor or nurse will give you a shot, usually in your arm.
After you receive an immunization:
The area where you got the shot may feel sore, red, or swollen.
Other parts of your body may also feel sore.
You may feel warm. This may mean that you have a low fever.
Tell someone immediately if:
You feel dizzy
You have trouble breathing
You get pink or red bumps on your skin (hives)
Your heart starts beating very quickly
You can keep track of your immunizations!
You can use this card to write down which immunizations you have received.
Bring this card with you whenever you visit your doctor.
Your doctor can help you fill it out
Learn more ways to lower your risk for disease on the DDS Safety Net.
Staying Healthy: Preventive Health Care Guidelines for Adults
Making Healthy Lifestyle Choices
You can also learn more about immunizations from these resources:
CDC: Vaccines and Immunizations
California Department of Health Services, Immunization Branch
These tools will help you decide which immunizations you should ask your doctor about.
Last updated on June 17th, 2010