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Walk-in vaccination clinic - Whooping Cough

Dear Parent(s) or Guardian(s):
 
Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine announced that the department will conduct a walk-in
vaccination clinic at the Indiana County State Health Center, 75 North Second Street, Indiana, PA
15701 on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019 from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in response to an ongoing whooping
cough outbreak.
  • TDAP (pertussis) Vaccinations will be available for anyone who is not vaccinated and is
    over 10 years of age - regardless of insurance status/provider.
  • Information and consultation will be available concerning vaccinations and the disease.
“Pertussis, or whooping cough, is a very contagious and serious disease of the respiratory system,”
Dr. Levine said. “However, whooping cough is preventable with a vaccination, which is why we
encourage everyone to be vaccinated. We are holding this clinic in order to help ensure that the entire
community is protected from this disease, which can be fatal, particularly in infants.”  To date, 45 confirmed or probable cases of pertussis have been reported in school districts in Indiana
County, with additional cases under investigation.

Pertussis is an infection of the respiratory system that is characterized by severe coughing spells that
end in a “whooping” sound when the person breathes in. The first symptoms of whooping cough are
similar to those of a common cold including runny nose, sneezing, mild cough, and low-grade fever.
After about one to two weeks, the dry, irritating cough evolves into coughing spells that can last for
more than one minute and can lead to vomiting. It can be very dangerous, and even deadly, for
infants who are not old enough to be vaccinated.

The pertussis vaccine is recommended for children to enter school. Because immunity from the
vaccine fades over time, most adolescents and adults are susceptible to the disease. In addition to
the typical childhood series of pertussis immunizations at 2, 4, 6, and 15-18 months, and a booster at
4-6 years, the department recommends the adolescent/adult pertussis vaccine,
tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis, or Tdap, booster for:
  • Individuals 10-64 years of age who are not fully immunized;
  • Pregnant women during each pregnancy, preferably between 27 and 36 weeks gestation.
  • Women who have never received Tdap and who do not receive it during pregnancy should
    receive it immediately postpartum;
  • People who have contact with pregnant women or infants too young to have received a full
    series of vaccinations; and
  • All family members and caregivers of infants who are not old enough to get vaccinated against
    pertussis.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health urges everyone to stay up-to-date on their vaccines. For
more information, visit the Department of Health website at www.health.pa.gov or call 1-877-PA-HEALTH.
 
Sincerely,
 

Robert Heinrich
Director of Education