CAMP HILL, Pa. — A reported "epidemic" of whooping cough in Washington has prompted at least one retail pharmacy chain to increase supplies of booster vaccines for the disease.
Rite Aid announced Tuesday that it had brought in extra doses of Tdap to its 140 stores in the state. The announcement follows a report from the state's Department of Health that there had been 640 cases of whooping cough, also known as pertussis, so far this year, a sevenfold increase compared with the same three-month period in 2011.
"Rite Aid pharmacists stand ready to give parents and caretakers help shielding their children against this dangerous disease," said Nirmal Singh, VP pharmacy for the region that includes Washington. "A quick trip to the neighborhood Rite Aid can help protect loved ones for years to come."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a whooping cough booster vaccine for everyone ages 11 years and older, as well as children as young as 7 years old if any of the five regularly scheduled whooping cough vaccinations are missed. The disease is particularly dangerous for infants, and about half of those under a year of age require hospitalization, according to the CDC.