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Whooping Cough Booster Clinics Still Available for Students

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August 24, 2011

County Public Health is holding 11 Tdap vaccination clinics in the coming week for students who need proof of having the vaccine for middle and high school.

Whooping cough cases in the region increased to 343 this week, but none of those involved a public exposure, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) reported today.

“Time is running out for some students who are due to start school and have not yet made an appointment with their primary doctor or visited a pharmacy or clinic to get the vaccine,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County Public Health Officer. “Without a record of having received the shot, many students will not be admitted to school this year.”

A new state law requires 7th through12th graders to show proof they have received the Tdap booster shot before they can enroll in school. AB 354 was passed as a result of the pertussis epidemic across the state, which established new records of whooping cough cases last year. In San Diego County 1,144 cases were reported, including two infant deaths.

Parents can get the Tdap booster shot for their children through their primary care physician, 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.

The California Department of Public Health recommends a pertussis booster vaccine 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 should 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 and ongoing vaccination clinics, call the HHSA Immunization Branch at (866) 358-2966, or visit www.sdiz.org.

Special clinics are being held at these locations:
• Aug. 24 from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Ramona Library, 1275 Main St. Ramona; 300 doses available.
• Aug. 26 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Mission Bay High School, 2475 Grand Ave., San Diego; 250 doses available.
• Aug. 26 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the North Central Public Health Center, 5055 Ruffin Road, San Diego; 80 doses available.
• Aug. 26 from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Santee School District, 9613 Cuyamaca St., Santee; 300 doses available.
• Aug. 29 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Mission Bay High School, 2475 Grand Ave., San Diego; 250 doses available.
• Aug. 29 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the North Central Public Health Center, 5055 Ruffin Road, San Diego; 80 doses available.
• Aug. 30 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the South Region Public Health Center, 690 Oxford St., Chula Vista; 80 doses available.
• Aug. 30 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Mission Bay High School, 2475 Grand Ave., San Diego; 250 doses available.
• Aug. 30 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the North Central Public Health Center, 5055 Ruffin Road, San Diego; 80 doses available.
• Aug. 31 from 1 to 6 p.m. at the North Inland Regional Center, 600 E. Valley Parkway, Escondido; 300 doses available.
• Sept. 2 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Monte Vista High School, 3230 Sweetwater Springs Blvd., Spring Valley; 300 doses available.