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County Holds Additional Whooping Cough Booster Clinics

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August 10, 2011

The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency is holding five more pertussis booster (Tdap) clinics next week to meet the demand for those immunizations as the new school year quickly approaches for many middle and high school students.

A new state law requires 7th through 12th graders to show proof they have received the Tdap booster shot in order to enroll in school. Parents can get the Tdap booster for their children through their primary care physicians, but students who are not covered under a medical insurance plan can obtain the shot from a local retail pharmacy for a fee, or from a County public health center or booster clinic.  See second page for clinic information.

“We’ve organized these vaccination clinics to help parents meet the new enrollment requirement,” said Eric McDonald, M.D., M.P.H., County Deputy Public Health Officer. “Our clinics will have limited doses, so the public is encouraged to arrive early to avoid being turned away.”

This week, while there were no new cases of pertussis reported at a public site where others may have been potentially exposed to the disease, 11 cases were reported in the region raising the total to 313 in San Diego County this year. 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

Special clinics are being held at various locations:

•         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.

•         Aug. 16 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the South Region Public Health Center, 690 Oxford St., Chula Vista; 80 doses available.

•         Aug. 17 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the North Inland Regional Center, 600 E. Valley Parkway, Escondido; 150 doses available.