Ottawa County offices will be closed on Monday, May 27, 2024 in observance of Memorial Day.

Department of Public Health

Immunizations

On This Page:
Preventable Diseases | FluImmunization Data and Waiver Information | Schedules | Fees | Vaccine Safety | Adult Vaccines | Travel Services | Sources | Health Insurance Options

Many serious diseases can be prevented with vaccines. Learn more about vaccine preventable diseases for children and adults at the links below.


Vaccine Preventable Children's Diseases Vaccine Preventable Adult Diseases

Vaccine Consent Forms

Before completing this form, please contact an immunization nurse at (616) 396-5266.

Request for Records

If you received immunizations at the Ottawa County Department of Public Health, complete the Request for Immunizations Records form and fax it to the number listed on the bottom of the request form. If you received immunizations in Michigan, records may be in the Michigan Care Improvement Registry (MCIR). Contact your health care provider or our department to request a search. Your legal name and date of birth are required for the search.

Other tips for locating your immunization records

Immunization Data and Waiver Information

Since 1978, Michigan law has required children to be up to date with required immunizations ON or BEFORE the first day of school or a licensed childcare program.

  • A child who is not up to date with required immunizations will not be allowed to attend school or childcare without an immunization (vaccine) waiver, either a medical waiver signed by the child’s healthcare provider, or a nonmedical waiver certified by the local health department.
    • Michigan state law requires that to receive a nonmedical waiver, the parent or guardian must meet with health department staff to discuss questions or concerns about vaccination and to talk about the risks of what can happen if a child is not vaccinated, as well as about the benefits and potential risks of being vaccinated. Each conversation takes the specific needs and concerns of the family into account.
  • Michigan state law requires a new waiver appointment at the following times:
    • Before starting childcare or preschool
    • Before starting kindergarten
    • Before starting 7th grade
    • If the child has completed some, but not all, of the required vaccine series since the last waiver was signed
    • When changing to a school outside the district for which the waiver was originally signed
  • A nonmedical waiver appointment can be done at any local health department. For an appointment at any of Ottawa County Department of Public Health’s (OCDPH) three locations call 616-396-5266 and ask to schedule a vaccine waiver appointment.
  • At OCDPH, a nonmedical vaccine waiver appointment is an in-person visit, usually less than 30 minutes long. There is no cost for the visit.
  • You do not need to bring your child(ren) to the waiver appointment, but you will need to bring:
    • Picture ID and guardianship papers, if foster parent
    • Official immunization record from a medical provider or health department if the child has not received vaccines in Michigan
  • After OCDPH staff shares the information that Michigan state law requires, OCDPH staff will fill out and sign the waiver form electronically (on the computer or tablet) in the Michigan Care Improvement Registry (MCIR), and the parent or guardian will sign the form electronically (or by typing their name on the computer or tablet). Parents or guardians can request a copy.

OCDPH staff are here to help and to respectfully share the information that Michigan state law requires them to provide. We ask that the same kindness and respect be shown to them that they show to everyone who uses our services.

WAIVER PROCESS

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is an immunization (vaccine) waiver?

    An immunization or vaccine waiver is a signed statement that allows a child to attend school or a licensed childcare program without receiving the vaccinations that are required by Michigan state law.

  • What kinds of waivers are there?
    • Medical Waiver This is a signed statement from the child’s doctor (MD or DO) that the child cannot receive a certain vaccine or vaccines for a specific medical reason (such as an allergy or other medical reason not to get the vaccine or one of its ingredients).
      • Should be discussed with the child’s healthcare provider.
      • Can be filled out and signed by the child’s healthcare provider if the child has a valid medical reason.
      • Must use the official State of Michigan Medical Contraindication Form.
    • Nonmedical Waiver This is a signed statement from the child’s parent or guardian that the child will not receive a vaccine or vaccines due to a religious or other objection to the vaccine or vaccines.
      • Cannot be filled out or signed by the child’s healthcare provider.
      • Cannot be provided by the child’s school or childcare program.
      • Must use the official State of Michigan State of Michigan Nonmedical Immunization
      • Waiver Form, now done electronically (on a computer or tablet).
      • Must have the form filled out and signed during a visit at a Local Health Department. This is required by Michigan state law.
  • Why do I have to go to the health department to get a nonmedical waiver, and how does that process work?

    Michigan state law requires that to receive a nonmedical waiver, the parent or guardian must meet with health department staff to discuss questions or concerns about vaccination and to talk about the risks of what can happen if a child is not vaccinated, as well as about the benefits and potential risks of being vaccinated. Each conversation takes the needs and concerns of the family into account.

    Michigan state law requires a new waiver appointment at the following times:

    • Before starting childcare or preschool
    • Before starting kindergarten
    • Before starting 7th grade
    • If the child has completed some, but not all, of the required vaccine series since the last waiver was signed
    • When changing to a school outside the district for which the waiver was originally signed

    A nonmedical waiver appointment can be done at any local health department. For an appointment at any of Ottawa County Department of Public Health’s (OCDPH) three locations call 616-396-5266 and ask to schedule a vaccine waiver appointment.

    At OCDPH, a nonmedical vaccine waiver appointment is an in-person visit, usually less than 30 minutes long. You do not need to bring your child(ren) to the waiver appointment. After OCDPH staff shares the information that Michigan state law requires, OCDPH staff will fill out and sign the waiver form electronically (on the computer or tablet) in the Michigan Care Improvement Registry (MCIR), and the parent or guardian will sign the form electronically (or by typing their name on the computer or tablet).

    This process has been updated to make it easier for families and schools/childcare

    No more need to take paper forms to school or childcare – no more worrying about losing the form!
    No more need for another waiver appointment if your child changes schools within the same district - the form is in the MCIR system for the school to find immediately!

    Personal information stays private and is protected by laws such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The information can legally be viewed by:

    • Local Health Department immunization staff
    • School or childcare staff responsible for immunization records

    The prior paper-based process can still be used if the parent or guardian prefers.

    • OCDPH staff will fill out and sign the 2023 MDHHS nonmedical waiver form for parent or guardian to sign
    • OCDPH will keep a copy of the signed waiver form in the electronic medical record and give a paper copy to the parent or guardian
    • The parent or guardian must bring the paper copy of the waiver to the school or childcare
    • If the child changes school or childcare, the parent will be responsible for taking the paper waiver form to the new school or childcare but will not need a new waiver appointment unless there is any change to the child’s vaccine history, or they are starting one of the required new reporting grade levels above.

    OCDPH staff are here to help and to respectfully share the information that Michigan state law requires them to provide. We ask that the same kindness and respect be shown to them that they show to everyone who uses our services.

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Immunization Schedules

Many people think immunizations are only for children, but vaccines are important for people of all ages.

Recommended Vaccine Schedules

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Fees

Immunizations do not have to be expensive.  The Ottawa County Department of Public Health participates with the Vaccines for Children Program which provides free vaccines to children who have no health insurance, are on Medicaid or have insurance that does not cover any part of the cost of vaccines.  An administration fee is charged with each vaccine given.  The fee is determined on a sliding scale based on household income and number of persons in the family.  If you are concerned about the cost of immunizations for your child,  please call 396-5266 and ask to speak to an immunization nurse.  Many health insurance plans cover routine immunizations.  Please check with your insurer.  If your insurance covers the cost of immunizations, it is best to go to your physician's office to receive them.
Click here to view the fees for travel and adult immunizations.

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Vaccine Safety

Vaccines are the single most powerful, cost-effective public health intervention ever developed. They have reduced, and in some cases, eliminated debilitating and life threatening diseases. The following websites provide resources on vaccine safety:

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Adult Vaccines

Did you know certain vaccines are recommended for adults? Take this quick quiz to find out which vaccines you may need. Please call the Ottawa County Department of Public Health at (616) 396-5266 if you are interested in one or more of these vaccines:

  • Tdap/Td Vaccine (Tetanus, Diphtheria & Pertussis) – Tdap is recommended for all adults who have not received a dose of Tdap vaccine with high priority for those who have close contact with an infant younger than 12 months of age and health care workers. Tdap should be given to pregnant women during each pregnancy (preferred during 27-36 weeks' gestation), regardless of the number of years since last Td or Tdap.
  • MMR Vaccine (Measles, Mumps & Rubella) - recommended for those born on or after 1/1/57 with no documented history of receiving two doses of MMR vaccine at least one month apart .
  • Hepatitis A Vaccine - recommended for those in certain high risk groups. Call for more information.
  • Hepatitis B Vaccine - recommended for adults 19-59 years of age, and adults aged 60 and older with risk factors for Hepatitis B. Call for more information.
  • Varicella Vaccine (Chickenpox) - recommended for those born in or after 1980 who have never had chickenpox.
  • Influenza vaccine is recommended for everyone, every year.
  • Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV15/PCV20) and Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23) - recommended for all adults 65 years and older. Adults 19-65 years of age with diabetes, heart or lung disease or certain other chronic conditions also need these vaccines. Call for more information.
  • Zoster (Shingles) Vaccine – It is recommended that healthy adults 50 years and older, and those who are immunocompromised and 19 years and older, get two doses of the shingles vaccine called Shingrix (recombinant zoster vaccine).

You may be eligible for free vaccines if you are 19 years or older and

  • do not have health insurance or
  • have Medicaid spend down or
  • have health insurance that does not pay any part for the cost of vaccines

Tdap | MMR | Shingles Vaccine | HPV | PCV15 | PPSV23

These vaccines are available based on age and/or specific health risk factors.

For more information and to schedule an appointment, please contact 616-396-5266

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Travel Services

Annually, 700 million travelers cross international borders and as many as 70% of them become ill. The Ottawa County Department of Public Health believes staying healthy while traveling involves more than "getting shots", and the Department of Public Health's "Travel Clinic" can help ensure your best chances for good health during your travels.

Our Travel Clinic has appointments in each of our Department of Public Health offices. During a travel clinic visit, the staff will review your trip itinerary and your medical history. You will receive the most current information specific to your trip from professional travel authorities such as Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and Shoreland, Inc. The clinic staff will recommend and administer travel vaccines indicated for you, based on your medical history and the anticipated risk of exposure during your travels. You will also be provided with information and counseled on common health hazards which might be encountered on your trip, such as insect/water-borne illnesses and other non-vaccine preventable infections, recent infectious outbreaks in the area, and health care standards and health care availability at your destination. In addition, you will receive up-to-date information on safety and security alerts for your destination as well as general advice on how to remain healthy while traveling. All information will be provided in a convenient packet to take with you on your trip.

The Travel Clinic office visit fee is $80. This fee is in addition to the cost of the travel vaccinations. Payment is due at time of service. Cash, check, MasterCard, VISA, Discover Card and American Express are accepted. Please note: travel vaccines are not generally covered by insurance. However, a detailed statement will be provided to you at the time of payment which you can forward to your insurance company in the event this expense is covered.

Please call (616) 396-5266 to make a travel clinic appointment. Ideally, you should call 4-6 weeks prior to your departure date.

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International Adoption Immunization & Travel Recommendations

Adoption is an exciting, rewarding and busy time for all involved. International adoption can present some additional challenges. The Ottawa County Department of Public Health's Travel Clinic offers advice on recommended and/or required immunizations for traveling to the country of your child, advice on keeping you and your family healthy while traveling and handouts on health recommendations before and after international adoption. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also offers more information about immunizations and international adoption.

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Additional Sources of Immunization Information

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Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program

The VFC Program provides federally purchased vaccines for children 18 years of age and younger who are Medicaid eligible, uninsured, American Indian or Alaskan Native, or are under-insured. There are many benefits for both providers and their patients to participate in this program which include keeping children in their medical home and a link to a network of experts, can provide up-to-date information on immunizations. The Vaccines for Children Program is available to Ottawa County physician offices for children birth through 18 years of age. If you would like more information about the VFC Program, please contact the Immunization Supervisor at (616) 396-5266.

VFC Program information: www.michigan.gov/vfc

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Instructions for the Use of Vaccine Information Statements - Required Use

1. Provide Vaccine Information Statement (VIS) when vaccination is given.

As required under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (42 U.S.C. §300aa-26), all health care providers in the United States who administer, to any child or adult, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella, polio, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), influenza, pneumococcal conjugate, meningococcal, rotavirus, human papillomavirus (HPV), or varicella (chickenpox) vaccines shall, prior to administration of each dose of the vaccine, provide a copy to keep of the relevant current edition vaccine information materials that have been produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • to the parent or legal representative* of any child to whom the provider intends to administer such vaccine, and
  • to any adult to whom the provider intends to administer such vaccine. (In the case of an incompetent adult, relevant VISs shall be provided to the individual's legal representative.* If the incompetent adult is living in a long-term care facility, all relevant VISs may be provided at the time of admission, or at the time of consent if later than admission, rather than prior to each immunization.)

If there is not a single VIS for a combination vaccine, use the VISs for all component vaccines. The materials shall be supplemented with visual presentations or oral explanations, as appropriate.

2. Record information for each VIS provided.

Health care providers shall make a notation in each patient's permanent medical record at the time vaccine information materials are provided, indicating:

(1) the edition date of the Vaccine Information Statement distributed, and
(2) the date the VIS was provided.

This record keeping requirement supplements the requirement of 42 U.S.C. §300aa-25 that all health care providers administering these vaccines must record in the patient's permanent medical record (or in a permanent office log):

(3) the name, address and title of the individual who administers the vaccine,
(4) the date of administration, and
(5) the vaccine manufacturer and lot number of the vaccine used.

Availability of Copies

In Michigan: health care providers should use the Michigan versions of the VIS. Copies are available at your local Department of Public Health or at Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Copies are available in English and in other languages.

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Reporting Vaccine Preventable Diseases

Please remember that all vaccine preventable diseases need to be reported to your local Department of Public Health. Visit our Disease Reporting for more information.

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Immunization Resources for Providers

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