Vaccines are the safest way to protect you, your children, and your community from a long list of serious and potentially life-threatening illnesses. Vaccines protect you by preparing your immune system to recognize and fight serious, and sometimes deadly, diseases.
The IAP program works closely with healthcare providers, day care providers, schools, vulnerable populations, and others to help raise vaccination rates in Erie County. They accomplish this through activities such as:
- Education and outreach to healthcare professionals, day care providers, and other interested groups about the benefits of vaccine preventable diseases for children, adolescents, and adults.
- Assessments and follow-up visits with private healthcare providers and clinics to review vaccination levels of children, adolescents, and adults and provide guidance to raise vaccine coverage levels.
- Assist healthcare providers in improving the accuracy and completeness of immunization data in the New York State Immunization Information System (NYSIIS), New York State's electronic immunization registry.
- Provides information that is given to new parents at Erie County birthing hospitals.
Childhood vaccinations are essential because they help protect children before they are exposed to potentially life-threatening diseases. Adults need to keep their vaccinations up to date because immunity from childhood vaccines can wear off over time. You are also at risk for different diseases as an adult.
Children birth to 18 years old
Adults 19 years and older
Travelers should review the CDC Travelers' Health website before traveling.
The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine can prevent several kinds of cancer, and the hepatitis B vaccine can help prevent liver cancer.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine
Some cancers are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), a very common sexually transmitted infection. The HPV vaccine protects against the types of HPV that most often cause these cancers.
Who should get the HPV vaccine?
HPV vaccination is recommended for:
- Preteens aged 11 to 12 years, but can be given starting at age 9.
- Everyone through age 26 years, if they are not vaccinated already.
- If you are over 26 years old, talk to your doctor about your risk of new HPV infections and benefits of the vaccine.
HPV vaccination prevents new HPV infections, but does not treat existing infections or diseases. This is why the HPV vaccine works best when given before you are exposed to the virus.
The HPV vaccine does not substitute for routine cervical cancer screening tests (Pap and HPV tests).
Hepatitis B vaccine
Hepatitis B is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV) and is spread through blood, semen, or other body fluids. It can be mild and last only a few weeks (acute), but it can also cause serious long-term (chronic) illness that can lead to liver disease or liver cancer.
Who should get the hepatitis B vaccine?
Hepatitis B vaccine is usually given as 2, 3, or 4 shots, and it may be given as a stand-alone vaccine, or as part of a combination vaccine. It is is recommended for:
- Infants should get their first dose of hepatitis B vaccine at birth and will usually complete the series at 6-18 months of age. The birth dose is an important part of preventing long-term illness in infants and the spread of hepatitis B.
- Anyone 59 years of age or younger who has not gotten the vaccine.
- Adults 60 years at increased risk of exposure to hepatitis B who were not already vaccinated.
- Your primary care provider or pediatrician should be your first choice for providing immunizations. If you do not have a provider, you may find our health insurance and low cost healthcare services page and primary care provider database helpful.
- The Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH) Immunization Clinic operates an immunization clinic twice a month. Please call (716) 858-7687 for an appointment and more information. This clinic participates in the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program and Vaccines for Adults (VFA) program.
- There are other immunization clinics in WNY that provide immunizations, and some vaccine makers may have programs that provide vaccines for free to people who do not have health insurance.
Parents should keep track of their child's vaccination history. Finding old immunization records can be especially difficult, or even impossible for adults. To avoid having to hunt for old records, and possibly repeating vaccinations that cannot be documented, individuals should make sure that all immunization providers give them a written record of their vaccines.
If an individual's immunization records have been lost, here are some resources for locating them:
- Clinic or healthcare provider where you were vaccinated.
- Your medical record from your healthcare provider.
- New York State law requires that schools keep individual immunization records for 6 years, or 3 years after the individual reaches age 18, whichever is longer.
- Tips for finding old immunization records.
- Consider using this free life-time immunization record card.
Electronic immunization registries
Healthcare providers now use electronic immunization registries to keep track of children's immunizations.
As of January 1, 2008, the New York State Immunization Registry Law requires healthcare providers to report all immunizations administered to persons less than 19 years of age, along with the person's immunization histories, to the New York State Department of Health using the New York State Immunization Information System (NYSIIS). This system can also be used for adult immunizations. All COVID-19 vaccinations given in NY State, regardless of the recipient's age, are recorded in NYSIIS.
- Vaccine Information Statements
- Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS)
- National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program
- WNY Immunization Coalition
Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH)
Immunization Action Plan Program
608 William Street
Buffalo, NY 14206
Phone: (716) 858-7687
Fax: (716) 858-2127