Homelessness places you at a higher risk for catching certain illnesses but receiving your vaccinations is one of the best ways to protect yourself. Even though you may have received vaccines as a child, many will need to be boosted as an adult. To put things in perspective, more than 50,000 adults die in the USA every year from pneumonia and the flu, both of which could be prevented with vaccination.

Children’s Vaccine Schedule

Children are at extremely high risk for catching infections that are normally prevented by vaccines. Making sure your children are adequately vaccinated is also necessary for school enrollment. For this reason, many programs and free clinics exist that provide free vaccination for children. For a list of free clinics see the resources section at the end of the booklet or ask your child’s school for more information.

Children may also receive essential vaccinations for free through San Bernardino County Vaccines for Children program. Call 1-800-722-4777 for more information.

Common Adult Vaccines

Bolded vaccines are most important among homeless individuals.

Vaccine Name Who needs it?
Hepatitis A All adults that are not immune
Hepatitis B All adults who are not already immune
Tdap/td (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) Booster is needed every 10 years
Pneumonia (PCV13 and PPSV23) All adults older than 65
Influenza (flu) Everyone, every year
Rabies May be needed after animal bites
HPV Series Women under age 26
Varicella (chicken pox) Not needed if you had chickenpox as a child
MMR (mumps, measles, rubella All adults who have not received one in the past
Herpes Zoster All adults 60 or above

Many vaccines are available for free. Please call 211 to receive more information or check out other free clinics, many provide free or low cost vaccines for adults.

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