Rite Aid increases whooping cough booster vaccine supply to all Calif. pharmacies

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid has increased supplies of the whooping cough booster vaccine, Tdap, at all 578 California locations after the California Department of Public Health reported that the number of whooping cough cases in the state has reached “epidemic proportions.”

There have been 3,458 cases of whooping cough so far in 2014 — more than were reported in all of 2013, officials have stated.

Rite Aid certified immunizing pharmacists in California can vaccinate patients ages 3 years and older against whooping cough, and more than a dozen other diseases based on CDC vaccine guidelines. Cost varies based on the patient's insurance coverage, and the Tdap vaccine is covered by many insurance plans. Tdap vaccinations are available during pharmacy hours and no appointment is necessary.

Named for the high-pitched “whooping” sound typically accompanying severe coughing fits, whooping cough is a highly contagious respiratory disease that is particularly dangerous for infants. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that about half of whooping cough patients under 1 year of age require hospitalization, and that getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent the bacterial infection.

Although young children typically receive the whooping cough vaccination from their primary healthcare providers as part of a regular vaccine schedule, the CDC recommends a Tdap booster dose between ages 11 years and 12 years; individuals who did not receive a Tdap booster dose at those ages should receive one as soon as possible. In addition, Tdap is recommended for healthcare professionals and anyone having close contact with a baby younger than 12 months, including grandparents, family members and child care providers. Women who are pregnant should get a Tdap immunization during every pregnancy to protect their newborn from whooping cough.

Login or Register to post a comment.