Man with Band-Aid from Vaccine

Primary Care


Getting vaccinated is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from infectious illnesses. You need certain vaccines only once in your life, but you need others annually, like the flu vaccine. OSF HealthCare offers scheduled and seasonal vaccines at convenient times and locations for you and your family.

Seasonal Vaccines

When fall weather rolls around, getting your seasonal vaccines should be at the top of your to-do list. Preventive shots for seasonal illnesses help keep you healthy as contagious diseases spike during the colder months.

How Do Seasonal Vaccines Work?

Viruses change, or mutate, over time. Some viruses, like the flu and COVID-19, change faster than others. When viruses change significantly, vaccines must change too in order to keep working. Scientists update seasonal vaccines so they protect against the latest virus mutations. You need to get vaccinated annually to stay protected against the most common strains of certain viruses like the flu.

What Seasonal Vaccines Do I Need?

Ask your doctor what seasonal vaccines they recommend. The most commonly recommended seasonal vaccines are:

  • COVID-19 — You can get COVID-19 vaccines at the same time you get your annual flu shot. If you're older than 12 and received a vaccination for COVID-19 before Sept. 12, 2023, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) recommends an updated vaccine.
  • Flu — Influenza, also known as the flu, is most commonly spread during the winter months. You can protect yourself from getting sick by getting an annual flu shot. Children younger than 9 need two shots if it’s their first time getting the vaccine. For seniors older than 65 years old, doctors recommend a special “enhanced” version of the flu vaccine that strengthens your immune response.
  • RSV — The respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, vaccine is recommended for pregnant women (from week 32 to week 36 of gestation) as well as adults over the age of 60. This new vaccine has come out due to a rise in RSV in adults and children.

Adult Vaccines

Scheduled vaccines aren’t just for kids. Ask your doctor which of these vaccines you may need to protect yourself and those close to you from certain diseases:

  • HBV (hepatitis B) – Doctors recommend two, three or four doses depending on the type of vaccine used.
  • HPV (human papillomavirus) – Young adults up to 26 years old should get this shot to prevent HPV, a virus that can lead to cancer. The vaccine can also work for adults between 27 and 45, although it may not be as effective.
  • MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) – This vaccine protects against all three diseases (measles, mumps and rubella) and sometimes requires boosters.
  • PCV15, PCV20, PPSV23 (pneumococcal) –This vaccine protects you from pneumonia.
  • RZV (zoster recombinant) – This vaccine keeps you from getting shingles.
  • TDAP (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) — Healthy adults should get this vaccine to protect against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis.
  • VAR (varicella) – This is also known as the chickenpox vaccine.

Pediatric Vaccines

Vaccinating children is one of the easiest ways we can keep them safe and healthy. Make sure you’re working with a pediatrician to vaccinate your child on schedule to protect them against infectious illnesses. Many vaccines appear on this list more than once. That is because it sometimes takes more than one dose of a vaccine to fully protect your child.

  • HBV (hepatitis B)
2 months

HBV (hepatitis B)

4 months
  • HBV (hepatitis B)
  • HIB (haemophilus influenzae type B)
  • IPV (poliovirus)
  • PVC13 (pneumococcal conjugate)
  • RV5 (rotavirus)
  • TDAP (diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis)
6 months
  • HBV (hepatitis B)
  • HIB (haemophilus influenzae type B)
  • IPV (poliovirus)
  • PVC13 (pneumococcal conjugate)
  • RV5 (rotavirus)
  • TDAP (diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis)
12 months
  • HAV (hepatitis A)
  • MMR (measles, mumps, rubella)
  • PVC13 (pneumococcal conjugate)
  • VAR (varicella)
15 months
  • HIB (haemophilus influenzae type B)
  • TDAP (diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis)
18 months
  • HAV (Hepatitis A)
4-6 years
  • IPV (poliovirus)
  • MMR (measles, mumps, rubella)
  • TDAP (diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis)
  • VAR (varicella)
11-12 years
  • HPV4 (human papillomavirus) – 2 doses 6 months apart (over age 15 years requires 3 doses)
  • Menveo (meningococcal group A, C, Y)
  • TDAP (diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis)
16 years
  • Bexsero (meningococcal group B) – 2 doses
  • Menveo (meningococcal group A, C, W, Y)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

It’s normal to have questions about vaccines for yourself or your child. Don’t hesitate to ask your health care provider about any concerns before getting vaccinated.

How Do Vaccines Work?
Vaccines inject a small amount of a virus or bacteria into your body. It won’t make you sick because it’s usually dead or weak. This process allows your body to recognize the virus or bacteria and make antibodies, so it can fight off a real infection in the future.
Are Vaccines Dangerous?
Vaccines are safe. They’re tested and approved by organizations like the CDC and FDA before becoming available. Hundreds of millions of people have taken common vaccines like the flu shot, over many decades, without any serious health issues. Serious allergic reactions to vaccines are rare. Tell your doctor if you’re concerned about an allergy.
Can Vaccines Cause Autism, Cancer or Other Illnesses?
Vaccines can’t cause diseases like autism or cancer. There have been many studies to make sure vaccines cannot hurt you or your children.
Do I Really Need Vaccines?
Sometimes people think vaccines aren’t necessary because being sick and developing natural disease resistance is a part of life. But the diseases many vaccines prevent are deadly, incurable and dangerous. Before the invention of vaccines, many children and adults died of diseases like polio, whooping cough and diphtheria.

Schedule Now

Stay healthy and protect your family with seasonal vaccines. Rely on OSF HealthCare for flu, COVID-19 and more vaccine appointments at times and locations that work for you.

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