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Special Whooping Cough Booster Clinics Offered

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August 3, 2011

Six pertussis booster (Tdap) clinics are being held throughout the county in the coming weeks in order to help parents meet a new state law requiring middle and high school students to show proof of the immunization during registration this year, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency announced.

Students who are covered under a health insurance plan may get the Tdap vaccine from their primary care physician. Those without medical insurance can obtain the shot from a local retail pharmacy for a fee, or from a County public health center or booster clinic.  Clinic information is listed below.

“Our public health centers are offering limited doses of the Tdap shot during special hours on specific days to help meet demand for the pertussis booster,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County Public Health Officer. “We continue to remind parents to take care of this early to avoid delays with enrollment.”

A new case of pertussis was reported this week in a 2-year-old child with an unknown immunization record, who attends Children’s Choice Preschool in El Cajon and potentially exposed others to the disease. The number of pertussis cases reached 302 as of last week, according to HHSA. In 2010, whooping cough cases in the region reached a record 1,144 cases, including two infant deaths.

The California Department of Public Health recommends a 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 healthcare workers, who have contact with pregnant women or infants. Children 7 to 9 years of age who did not receive all of their routine childhood shots are recommended to receive a Tdap booster dose.

A typical case of pertussis 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 at (866) 358-2966, or visit the web site at www.sdiz.org.

Special clinics are being held at various locations:

•         Aug. 8 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Fallbrook Community Resource Center, 130 E. Alvarado St., Fallbrook ; 75 doses available.

•         Aug. 9 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the South Region Public Health Center, 690 Oxford St., Chula Vista ; 80 doses available.

•         Aug. 9 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Central Elementary School, 4063 Polk Ave., San Diego; 300 doses available. 

•         Aug. 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Mountain Empire High School, 3305 Buckman Springs Road, Pine Valley ; 100 doses available.

•         Aug. 11 from 1 to 5 p.m. at Spring Valley Elementary School, 3845 Spring Drive, Spring Valley; 100 doses available.

•         Aug. 12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Southern Indian Health Center, 4058 Willows Road, Alpine; 100 doses available.