Chances are you've never had diphtheria, and you probably don't know anyone who has. What about measles, mumps or rubella? In the 19th and early 20th Centuries, tens of thousands of people in the United States, mostly children, died from these illnesses. Yet today, they are all but forgotten, largely due to vaccines.

Our bodies have a natural ability to learn how to fight off many disease-causing germs. Vaccines take advantage of this ability by injecting our immune systems with harmless versions of these germs in order to jump-start our ability to confront them. In essence, vaccines fool our immune systems into thinking there is a real illness occurring. The germs are quickly cleared away and our bodies automatically remember how to protect themselves from these illnesses that they have already encountered.

Remember, shots may hurt a little, but the diseases they prevent can hurt much more. Also, it's much cheaper to prevent a disease than to treat it.

Read more about the vaccine preventable diseases that we immunize for at the Grand Traverse County Health Department here.
  1. Health Department

    Physical Address
    2600 LaFranier Road
    Suite A
    Traverse City, MI 49686


    Fax: 231-995-6117

  1. Children
  2. Teens
  3. Adults
  4. Older Adults
  5. International

All children need to be immunized in order to prevent disease. Children who get their vaccines on time will be safe from many diseases.

Your baby should be immunized at these ages:

  • Birth
  • 2 Months
  • 4 Months
  • 6 Months*
  • 12-15 Months*
  • 18-24 Months*

*All children 6 months through 18 years should get a flu vaccine every year.

The following diseases are preventable with timely vaccinations:

  • Influenza
  • Hepatitis A 
  • Hepatitis B 
  • Rotavirus 
  • Diphtheria  and Whooping Cough 
  • Tetanus
  • Haemophilus Influenzae Type B (Hib)
  • Chickenpox 
  • Measles, Mumps, and Rubella 
  • Pneumococcal Conjugate (PCV13)
  • Polio 

There are other vaccines that may be suggested for children who have health problems and are traveling outside of the United States. Please contact us for more information.

Helpful Links

View an interactive instant childhood immunization scheduler to make sure your child is immunized on schedule.

Learn more about the vaccine-preventable diseases including symptoms and statistics that the Grand Traverse County Health Department immunizes against.

Vaccines for Children Program 

The Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program gives childhood vaccines to eligible children and the government pays for the vaccines. Doctors and clinics give VFC vaccines to children who qualify in order to help kids stay healthy.


Children from birth through 18 years of age can get VFC vaccines if they:

  • Are currently on Medicaid
  • Are eligible for Medicaid
  • Do not have health insurance
  • Are American Indian or Alaskan Native
  • Are under-insured

If your health insurance does not pay anything for vaccines, your child may be able to get the VFC vaccine. Check with your doctor or contact us at the Health Department.

How much will I have to pay?

We will not charge you for the vaccine, but you may be asked to pay a small administration fee. However, we will not turn anyone away due to the inability to pay.

For more information on VFC, visit the CDC's website about the program.

Vaccine Information Sheet

To find out more about each specific vaccine, please review the applicable Vaccine Information Sheet (VIS) available through the Michigan Department of Health and Humans Services website.

Other Resources for Immunizations

Munson Medical Center
Immunization Clinic
Location: 106 S. Madison, Traverse City
Phone: 231-935-8125

Private Physicians
Many area physicians offer vaccines at reduced rates for patients without insurance coverage. Ask your doctor if they participate in the Vaccines For Children Program.