MONTESANO, Wash. - The focus of the State Department of Health to address a whooping couch epidemic is shifting to unvaccinated adults in Washington State.
Grays Harbor Public Health Director Joan Brewster tells us "With pertussis, we're really shifting our attention away from the unimmunized children, and toward adults that need to get a TDAP. Because we believe that most of the pertussis that infants pick up, they're picking up from the adults in their life and those are the people that we need to make real sure have their TDAP.”
Brewster said the concern is that even if you're not around infants on a regular basis, you could pass an infection to another adult that is around vulnerable children "if you haven't had a TDAP shot in over 10 years, you should get another one."
Area health care providers, as well as Safeway, and Rite Aid pharmacies are offering the shots. Brewster says the Health Department also offers some walk-in clinic times for uninsured residents.
On April 3, 2012, Secretary of Health Mary Selecky declared a statewide pertussis (whooping cough) epidemic. Whooping cough spreads easily by coughing and sneezing.
Whooping cough vaccines are recommended for all kids and adults. Kids under seven should get a series of five DTaP vaccines. Kids aged 7 to 10 years who aren’t fully vaccinated against whooping cough and everyone aged 11 and older should get a whooping cough booster, called Tdap.