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San Diego Immunization Program

Pertussis Information - Get the Facts!

Pertussis Booster Video:
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Parents: Get Your Preteens and Teens Immunized!

All entering 7th grade students need to provide proof of a Tdap shot before starting school. Get your preteen immunized now and avoid any last-minute rush this fall. For more information, visit www.shotsforschool.org.

Persons should contact their regular source of health care first to get this vaccine. Also, places such as certain pharmacies may offer the vaccine. For those without health insurance, the County of San Diego Public Health Centers (PHC) offer the Tdap vaccine. For a downloadable County PHC immunization clinic schedule, please click here.

The County Health and Human Services Agency and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) recommend that parents should get their adolescents immunized now to avoid any last-minute rush. For more information, see your health care provider and you can also visit the CDPH immunization website, where there are many helpful links to information and resources.

To find locations where you can get pertussis (and influenza) vaccine, please call 2-1-1.

Immunization is the best way to protect against pertussis. In addition to the typical series of childhood pertussis immunizations, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) recommends an adolescent-adult 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 health care workers, who have contact with pregnant women or infants.

Children 7-9 years of age who did not receive all of their routine childhood shots are recommended to receive a Tdap booster dose.

Although the vaccine is not 100% effective (no medicine is), immunized people can have milder symptoms than persons who aren’t immunized

It’s not just a disease of children - adults can get it, too. They can unknowingly pass it on to children, including those who cannot be fully immunized because of their age or medical condition. This can have very serious health consequences for the young child.

Infants younger than 12 months of age have more serious illness from pertussis and are more likely to have complications such as pneumonia or convulsions. They are at the greatest risk of dying from the disease and its complications.

Whooping cough gets its name from the "whoop" sound children and adults sometimes make when they try to breathe in during or after a severe coughing spell. It usually starts with flu-like symptoms, such as runny nose, sneezing, fever and a mild cough. These symptoms may be mild and brief, or last up to two weeks, but are often followed by severe coughing fits and possibly vomiting.

Check with your doctor or local clinic about the pertussis immunization and other vaccines that protect against diseases like measles and chickenpox. A small investment of time and effort can help avoid the suffering of vaccine-preventable diseases.

Protect your children. Protect yourself. Protect your community. Immunize!

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