Ralphs pharmacies offer pertussis shots as epidemic sweeps through California

LOS ANGELES — Ralphs Grocery Co. has announced that its 85 in-store pharmacies throughout Southern California continue to offer Tdap vaccinations as the number of pertussis cases, also known as whooping cough, reaches epidemic proportions in California.

The Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) vaccination is available every day and no prescription or appointment is necessary. Ralphs pharmacists can vaccinate anyone 9 years old or older, including pregnant women. Tdap vaccinations at Ralphs Pharmacies are covered by most insurance plans.

"A Tdap shot administered at a Ralphs Pharmacy is a convenient, affordable option," stated Rebecca Cupp, director of pharmacy for Ralphs. "Our Tdap vaccination program is yet another way that Ralphs is helping our customers with easy, accessible and affordable health services — particularly when they need it most. Customers can rely on our team of expert Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians to provide professional counsel and caring service in a convenient, friendly environment."

According to the California Department of Public Health, prevention through vaccination is the best way to ward off pertussis. The CDPH recommends Tdap vaccinations for pregnant women in the third trimester of each pregnancy, regardless of previous Tdap vaccination. Older children, pre-adolescents and adults should also be vaccinated against pertussis according to CDPH recommendations.

The symptoms of pertussis vary by age. For children, pertussis typically starts with a cough and runny nose that can last up to two weeks. The cough then worsens and turns into rapid coughing spells that end with a "whooping" sound. Young infants may not have typical pertussis symptoms and may have no apparent cough. Parents describe episodes in which the infant's face turns red or purple. For adults, pertussis may simply be a cough that lasts for several weeks.

Ralphs Grocery was founded in 1873 and currently operates 228 supermarkets from its headquarters in Los Angeles.

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