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St. Johns County Health Department

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Immunization Information


Children's Schedule | Adult Immunizations | Flu | Hepatitis | Pneumonia |


Children's Immunizations


Many childhood diseases are life threatening, but can be easily prevented through immunization. Polio, for instance can cause permanent paralysis and death. Others, like measles and chickenpox may seem to be fairly harmless diseases. However, 1 or 2 of every 1,000 children contracting measles will die, and measles can also cause pneumonia, brain damage and seizures. Children who are not properly immunized are at risk and may pass the disease to others who are not immunized. Today’s advances in science have provided us improved vaccines. The health risks from getting the disease far outweigh any risk from getting the shots.


The St. Johns County Health Department offers free immunizations for children from birth through age 18. The Health Department provides immunizations for the most common childhood diseases: measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio, Haemophilus influenzae type b, hepatitis B and chicken pox.


For more information on children’s immunizations, please visit the National Immunization Program on this website:


Children’s Immunization Schedule

The following children’s immunization schedule is recommended:   

childhood immunization schedule - 2005

Immunization Clinic


Free children’s immunizations are available without an appointment at the St. Johns County Health Department. For information, please call 904-825-5055 x1076


Proof of Immunization – Florida 680 Immunization Form


Proof of up-to-date immunizations is required for children entering day care and school. Children entering kindergarten and the seventh grade must provide a Florida 680 Immunization Form to the school. Children moving from out of state and entering the Florida schools must also provide a Florida 680 Immunization Form at the time of enrollment. Parents should take their child’s complete shot record to the Health Department or private medical provider to ensure that all immunizations are current. Based upon the child’s shot record, the health department or private medical provider can provide a Florida 680 Immunization Form needed for school enrollment.


Call for information 904-825-5055 x1076

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Adults should not think that having passed their 18th birthday, they need never get another shot again. Immunizations are not just for kids!


The Health Department protects adults from the threat of infection by a number of very serious diseases. Adult immunizations are provided through the department’s General Clinic and in special outreach clinics, often utilizing the Wellness Express mobile clinic. No appointment is required to receive services through the General Clinic. General Clinic hours are Monday through Friday from 8 am to 11:30 am and 1 pm to 4:30 pm.  The General Clinic is closed from 1 pm to 4:30 pm on the third Tuesday of the month for training.


Please note that flu shot clinics are scheduled only in the fall months and are held on specific days and times. Call 825-5055 to check on flu shot clinic schedules.


Tetanus/Diphtheria (Td)


Tetanus (commonly known as lockjaw) and diphtheria are bacteria. In the U.S. today, infection from diphtheria is rare, but 1 out of 10 people who contract diphtheria will die, and diphtheria is spread from one infected person to another. Tetanus is a bacteria that is commonly found in the soil of Florida.


The tetanus bacteria can enter the body through a cut or break in the skin, even a scratch, burn or bite. People working or playing outdoors or who are at risk for incurring wounds are particularly at risk, however, everyone should be protected from tetanus. Almost all reported cases of Tetanus are in persons who have either never been vaccinated, or who have not had a booster in the preceding 10 years.

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Adults should have a Td booster shot every ten years. The Health Department provides these shots for a nominal cost without appointment in the General Clinic.


Hepatitis A


Hepatitis A is spread through contact with fecal material in contaminated food or water, or from hand-to-mouth contact. The risk of being infected with the disease is very high for people who live with someone who already has hepatitis A. Good sanitary practices are essential to prevent the spread of the disease. Although hepatitis A causes serious illness and does cause a number of deaths each year, fortunately the disease is not chronic. Illness usually lasts for a period of 2 to 6 months.


Immune globulin injections are provided to individuals who have been verified for exposure to someone who has hepatitis A. These immunizations are not provided to the general public. If you believe you have had a recent direct exposure to hepatitis A, contact the Epidemiology unit at the health department, 825-5055 extension 1087. 

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Hepatitis B


Hepatitis B is a virus that is spread through exchange or contact with blood or body fluids, much like the HIV virus. However, it is a hardier virus and can more easily spread disease from one person to another than the HIV virus. Risky behaviors for the spread of hepatitis B include unprotected sex outside of a monogamous relationship and the use of intravenous drugs. The disease can be spread through accidental exposure in work, living or recreational settings, as well. Like all forms of hepatitis, the hepatitis B virus attacks the liver and can cause severe illness.


Preventive hepatitis B immunizations are provided adults for a fee in the General Clinic. A series of three shots over a period of months is required to protect against the virus. Adults at moderate to high risk of contact with the blood or body fluids, including semen of others, should be immunized. Health care workers, teachers and law enforcement personnel are some of the groups of workers that are at particular risk for exposure to hepatitis B.


Immune globulin injections are provided to individuals who have been verified for exposure to someone who has hepatitis B.  These immunizations are not provided to the general public.  If you believe you have had a recent direct exposure to hepatitis B, contact the Epidemiology unit at the Health Department, 825-5055 extension 1087.


Immunizations for Travel Outside the United States


For persons who are planning to travel out of the county, preventive immunization for hepatitis A and other diseases may be recommended or required. These immunizations are not available at the St. Johns County Health Department. For information on required immunizations for travel, contact the Duval County Health Department at 904-359-2602, or visit the travel section of the following website  

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Influenza (Flu)


Flu is caused by a virus. It is easily spread through contact with an infected person or airborne virus. Symptoms include fever, chills, body aches, headache, sore throat and a dry cough. Diarrhea and vomiting are not actually symptoms of the flu, but are caused by secondary infections by other organisms. While most people recover from the flu without any complications, around 20,000 people die from complications of the flu each year in the U.S. The most common complication from the flu is pneumonia.


No one wants to get the flu, but there are certain groups that are more susceptible to the flu and possible complications, and therefore should be sure to be vaccinated against the flu each year. Those who need to be protected from the flu include:

  • Persons aged 65 or older because as we age,  our immune system weakens

  • Persons who live or work in a long-term care facility for the chronically ill (such as a nursing home)

  • Persons of any age with a serious long-term health problem such as: heart disease, lung disease, asthma, anemia, diabetes

  • Persons with a weakened immune system from conditions such as: HIV/AIDS, long-term steroid treatment, cancer treatment, bone marrow or organ transplants

Each fall, the Health Department’s General Clinic conducts a flu and pneumonia immunization campaign. Flu immunizations must be renewed each year. The vaccine is actually formulated each year to protect against the 3 or 4 specific viruses which the Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization believe to be a threat during the year’s flu season. The best time to get a flu shot to protect against the winter flu season is in the fall.


The vaccine has no live virus in it, so it cannot give you the flu. However, because your immune system is reacting to a new agent--or antigen--in your body, you may feel slightly tired or feverish, and you may have some body aches and soreness at the site of the injection for 1-2 days. By comparison, the actual symptoms of the flu often last 2 weeks or more and can be completely incapacitating.


There is a charge for flu shots to cover the cost of the vaccine and administration. These shots are normally scheduled during specific days and times in the General Clinic. Public outreach flu shot clinics are also scheduled throughout the county. Outreach clinics will be advertised through local newspaper and radio media. Please call 825-5055 in late September or October to check on flu schedules and the current cost of the shots. 

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Pneumococcus is a type of bacteria that causes about 14,000 deaths annually. It is one of the most common causes of death in the U.S. that can actually be prevented by a vaccine. The bacteria is actually present in many people’s nose and throat without causing illness. The bacteria may be allowed to invade the body (this particular virus attacks the lungs) when the person’s immune system is already compromised fighting the flu or another illness or infection. The symptoms of pneumonia include severe chills, high fever, cough and stabbing chest pains. The symptoms can come on very suddenly.  


As with influenza, the elderly, chronically ill and immune-compromised are at risk from pneumonia. In additional, Alaska Natives and certain Native American populations seem to be at greater risk to contract pneumonia.  


Unlike the flu vaccine, the pneumonia vaccine protects most adults for a lifetime and can be given at any time during the year. Some adults may require a booster dose 5 years or more after the first shot. The pneumonia vaccine is made from tiny amounts of more than 20 live pneumococcal viruses. Although live viruses are used, the risk of a severe reaction is extremely small. As with the flu vaccine, normal side effects include soreness, fever, and muscle pain or aches for 1 to 2 days after the inoculation, and occasionally a mild rash.  


Clients who wish to have a pneumonia shot must provide a doctor’s prescription or note to receive the immunization.


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