How Vaccines Work

Vaccines save lives by preventing the spread of contagious diseases and boosting your immune system. Vaccines "teach" your body how to defend itself when germs, such as viruses or bacteria, invade it:

  • They expose you to a very small, very safe amount of viruses or bacteria that have been weakened or killed.
  • Your immune system then learns to recognize and attack the infection if you are exposed to it later in life.
  • As a result, you will not become ill, or you may have a milder infection. This is a natural way to deal with infectious diseases.

Why You Need Vaccines

For a few weeks after birth, babies have some protection from germs that cause diseases. This protection is passed from their mother through the placenta before birth. After a short period, this natural protection goes away.

Vaccines help protect against many diseases that used to be much more common. Examples include tetanus, diphtheria, mumps, measles, pertussis (whooping cough), meningitis, and polio. Many of these infections can cause serious or life-threatening illnesses and may lead to lifelong health problems. Because of vaccines, many of these illnesses are now rare.

Types of Vaccines at Owensboro Health

  • COVID-19
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis A & B
  • Hepatitis B
  • HPV (Human Papilloma Virus)
  • Influenza (Flu)
  • MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella)
  • Meningitis-Available from high school age and up
  • Pneumonia
  • Rabies
  • Shingles
  • Tetanus/Diphtheria (Td)–Available from 12 years and up
  • Typhoid

Many vaccines are special order – please call ahead to ensure availability.

Learn more about child immunizations available at Owensboro Health Medical Group Children's Center.

Can I be vaccinated for COVID-19?

Stay up to date on the latest vaccine news and appointment availability. At this time, we are not able to accommodate walk-in vaccinations.

Vaccination Myths

Myth 1

It is no longer necessary to get vaccines for diseases such as Diphtheria and Measles, which are virtually eliminated.

Truth: While vaccine-preventable diseases have drastically decreased in the United States, some are prevalent, or even epidemic, in other parts of the world. Vaccinations are necessary to protect against the small number of people who cannot be vaccinated or whose immune systems do not respond to vaccines.

Myth 2

The Chickenpox won't hurt my children, so they don’t need to be vaccinated.

Truth: Prior to 1995, when the Varicella (Chickenpox) vaccine was licensed, the disease resulted in 11,000 hospitalizations and 100 deaths annually. Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that Varicella is the greatest vaccine-preventable killer of U.S. children. Also, children protected from chickenpox are also protected from painful outbreaks of shingles as adults.

Myth 3

Vaccinations are only for children.

Truth: Adults can benefit from many immunizations. Vaccines can protect against Pneumonia, Tetanus (recommended every 5-10 years), Hepatitis B, Shingles, and even Cervical Cancer. Also, getting a Flu Shot can help prevent catching or spreading the Flu, which causes 36,000 U.S. deaths, mostly among senior, and 114,000 hospitalizations annually. Flu season often lasts well into the spring, so get vaccinated now to be protected the rest of the season.

Myth 4

Whooping Cough is a thing of the past.

Truth: Pertussis (Whooping Cough) is still a problem. Rapid, repeated coughing pulls all the air out of the Lungs can bring about serious complications and can even be fatal. This infectious illness is showing up in teens and adults who aren't immunized as children, or whose immunity has worn off. Get yourself and your children vaccinated on schedule.

Important Information

  • CDC Adult immunization recommendations. [Spanish version]
  • With the exception of Medicare patients, all vaccinations are self-pay.
  • Payment is due at the time of service.
  • Please note that vaccinations (with the exception of Tetanus and Meningitis) are available to healthy adults, 18 and older.