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Whooping Cough Vaccination Encouraged

Whooping Cough Vaccination Encouraged

(Tulsa, OK) In light of whooping cough epidemics in other states over the past few years, Tulsa Health Department officials are reminding the public about the importance of receiving protective vaccinations. 

 

Public health officials are advising Oklahomans to make sure their children are up-to-date with DTaP vaccinations, which protect against diptheria, tetanus, and pertussis (whooping cough).  In addition, parents, siblings, family members, and other caregivers of infants are strongly advised to get a Tdap booster if they have not already had one.  Although childhood vaccines offer protection against whooping cough, it takes at least four doses of vaccine within the first two years of life to assure adequate protection. And because immunity to whooping cough decreases over time, a booster dose is needed at 4 to 6 years of age and at 11 to 12 years of age up to 64 years of age.

 

Whooping cough is usually not a serious illness for adults and teenagers, but it can be very serious for small children, especially babies not yet old enough to complete the vaccination series. Approximately 90 percent of whooping cough deaths in the U.S. occur in babies less than 6 months of age.

 

More than half of all babies infected with whooping cough get it from their parents. It is easily spread because it is most contagious during the first few weeks of infection when it appears to be simply a cold with a cough. Older children and adults may not know they have whooping cough, yet they can still spread it to babies.

 

“It is very important that parents, grandparents, siblings and other people who have contact with babies are vaccinated with a single dose of Tdap,” urged Tulsa Health Department Director Dr. Bruce Dart. “Pregnant women and new moms who have not received a dose of Tdap can receive it as soon as the baby is born. Expectant fathers should receive it before the baby is born.”

 

Aside from protecting themselves, parents and caregivers should also be vigilant in protecting their infants with timely immunizations. The first dose of the infant immunization series can be started as early as 6 weeks to 2 months of age.

 

All individuals who anticipate having close contact with an infant aged less than 12 months (e.g., parent, siblings, grandparents, child-care providers and healthcare providers) should receive a single dose of Tdap to protect against pertussis if they have not previously received Tdap. Ideally, these adolescents and adults should receive Tdap at least 2 weeks before beginning close contact with the infant. Specially funded Tdap vaccine is currently available at the Tulsa Health Department clinics at no charge for household contacts and caregivers of infants less than 12 months.

 

DTaP and Tdap immunizations are available at the following Tulsa Health Department locations on a walk-in basis. The cost is $20 for adults and available free of charge to children who qualify for the federal Vaccines for Children (VFC) program.

 

Expo Square Health Center  

4616 E. 15th Street, Tulsa, OK

8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Monday - Thursday

8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Friday

 

James O. Goodwin Health Center 

5051 S. 129th E. Avenue, Tulsa, OK

8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Monday - Thursday

8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Friday

 

Central Regional Health Center 

315 S. Utica, Tulsa, OK

8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Monday - Thursday

8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Friday

 

North Regional Health Center

5424 N. Madison Avenue

Tulsa, OK

8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Mondays

8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Thursdays

8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Fridays

 

Collinsville Community Health Center 

1201 W. Center

Collinsville, OK 74021-3111

8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Mondays

8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.  and 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Wednesdays

 

 

Sand Springs Health Center 

306 E. Broadway

Sand Springs, OK 74063-7911

8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Mondays

8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.  and 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Wednesdays

 

 

Bixby Community Health Center 

8120 E. 126th Street 

Bixby, OK 74008

8:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays

 

 

For more information contact the Tulsa Health Department at 918-582-9355 or visithttp://www.tulsa-health.org/community-health/epidemiology/pertussis/

 

 

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