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Back-To-School is Great Reminder to Immunize

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August 25, 2010

As San Diego County children begin another school year, it’s the perfect time for parents to make sure their children are up-to-date on vaccinations, especially as cases of pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, continue to rise according to County Health and Human Services Agency officials.  (This week's new cases listed below).

There have been 412 cases reported so far in 2010. There were 143 cases in all of 2009, and the previous high for San Diego County was 371 cases in 2005.

“Back to school time is the perfect time to remind parents to make sure their children are immunized against pertussis and other diseases,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County Public Health Officer. “It’s important to remind parents that they are not only protecting their own children, but their child’s classmates and friends.”

The County is holding additional vaccination clinics on weekends at Northgate Markets and the San Ysidro Port of Entry. The clinics at the six Northgate Markets locations will be held on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The San Ysidro Port of Entry clinic will be held on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The clinics are scheduled to continue on weekends until Sept. 26, based on vaccine availability. County residents are encouraged to continue going to their private health care provider. Vaccines are available at County Public Health Centers for those with no primary care provider.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that children get one dose of DTaP vaccine at the following ages: 2 months; 4 months; 6 months; 15 to 18 months and 4 to 6 years.

The CDC also recommends that children receive a booster shot of Tdap vaccine at 10-11 yrs. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) recommends an adolescent-adult pertussis booster vaccine (Tdap) for everyone 10 years or older who has not yet received it, especially women of childbearing age, before, during, or immediately after pregnancy; and other people, including household contacts, caregivers, and health care workers, who have contact with pregnant women or infants.

Children 7-9 years of age who did not receive all of their routine childhood shots are recommended to receive a Tdap booster dose.

Hear what whooping cough sounds likeA typical case of pertussis in children and adults starts with a cough and runny nose for one-to-two weeks, followed by weeks to months of rapid coughing fits that sometimes end with a whooping sound. Fever, if present, is usually mild. The disease is treatable with antibiotics.  

For more information about whooping cough, please call the HHSA Immunization Branch toll-free at (866) 358-2966, or visit the web site at


 Vaccine Locations

The locations and dates for the vaccination clinics (all are held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Sept. 26, subject to vaccine availability):


San Ysidro Port of Entry, 720 East San Ysidro Blvd, San Diego


Northgate Market, 2909 Coronado Avenue, San Diego

Northgate Market, 1410 South 43rd Street, San Diego

Northgate Market, 1058 3rd Avenue, Chula Vista

Northgate Market, 1346 South Mission Road, Fallbrook

Northgate Market, 1150 East Vista Way, Vista

Northgate Market, 606 North Escondido, Escondido


New Cases 

This week’s new pertussis cases where there is a potential for public exposure are:

  • A 3-year-old who was up-to-date on immunizations and attends the Del Mar Heights Nursery School and the Panda Bear Preschool. 
  • A 5-year-old who was up-to-date with immunizations and attended the Creative Dance Theatre Dance Camp Monday-Thursday from July 26 to Aug. 12. 
  • A 10-year-old who was due for a booster shot and attended classes at the Little Artists on July 9, 16, 23 and 30.

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