CVS/pharmacy, MinuteClinic providing pertussis vaccine in all Calif. locations

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic have announced that they are offering the pertussis vaccine at all of its locations across California as the state’s whooping cough epidemic continues.

Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) vaccinations are available at more than 850 CVS/pharmacy locations and 47 MinuteClinic sites inside select CVS/pharmacy stores in California. CVS pharmacists in California can vaccinate anyone at least 9 years old. MinuteClinic nurse practitioners can vaccinate anyone ages 18 months or older (children under the age of 7 years will receive the DTaP vaccine).

"Providing a range of important vaccinations at CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic is part of our purpose of helping people on their path to better health," stated Papatya Tankut, VP of pharmacy affairs at CVS Caremark. "This includes the Tdap vaccine, which is the best protection against the whooping cough outbreak that has struck California."

According to the California Department of Public Health, the pertussis vaccination is recommended for pregnant women in their third trimester (regardless of any previous Tdap vaccination), infants at least 6 weeks old and children and adults who are not up to date on their vaccinations or who are in regular contact with an infant. Adults should receive a Tdap booster shot every 10 years.

Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection, and symptoms vary by age. Children's symptoms typically start with a cough and runny nose for up to two weeks, leading to worsening coughs that end with a "whooping" sound. Adult symptoms may be a cough that persists for several weeks. Young infants may have no apparent cough but their faces may turn red or purple.

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