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Various Authors 9:58 a.m., Oct. 23
The San Diego County Health and Human Services agency is planning six clinics in the coming week to provide free and, as of this year, mandatory, pertussis booster (Tdap) shots for middle and high school-aged students. A new state law requires enrolling students to show proof of immunization during registration.
Pertussis, or whooping cough, usually begins with a cough and runny nose for one or two weeks, followed by weeks or even months of coughing fits, which sometimes make a whooping sound. If infected, the disease is treatable with antibiotics. 1144 cases were reported in the county last year, and two infants died from infection.
Students with health insurance are advised to consult their primary care physicians for the booster shot. Those without insurance can obtain the shot from many local pharmacies for a fee, or for free from a County public health center or one of the booster clinics. Clinic locations and the number of available doses at each site can be found at the bottom of the County’s news release.
The California Department of Public Health recommends the booster to anyone over age 10 who has yet to receive it, as well as children 7-9 who did not complete their regular childhood immunizations. Women of childbearing age and those who work around pregnant women and infants are particularly urged to get the booster.