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Fill-in-Blank News Release for County Health Departments
Pertussis (Whooping Cough) Tdap Vaccine Available

Date:               __________
Contact:          __________
Phone:             __________

Pertussis (Whooping Cough) Tdap Vaccine Available

Recent reports about an outbreak of whooping cough (pertussis) in California have raised concerns about the need for vaccination in Oklahoma. Whooping cough, or pertussis, is a serious disease that can affect people of any age, but infants are at greatest risk of death from whooping cough.

“We have been receiving calls at the _____ County Health Department about the whooping cough vaccine known as Tdap and about who should be vaccinated,” said _____, _____ County Health Department administrator. “Tdap vaccine is a combination of tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis vaccines and is recommended for everyone 10 through 64 years of age. One dose of Tdap is all that is needed.”

_____ said people living in the same household as a baby are high priority to receive Tdap vaccine so they will be less likely to get whooping cough, bring it home and give it the baby. Currently there is no whooping cough or pertussis vaccine licensed for persons 65 years and older. However, adults 65 years old and older who want to receive Tdap vaccine should check with their doctor.

“Research shows that parents, brothers, sisters, and others living in the same household are the source for 75 percent to 83 percent of whooping cough cases in infants under age 1. Grandparents are the source for six percent to eight percent of whooping cough cases in babies,” said ____

The _____ County Health Department has a supply of Tdap vaccine available for adolescents 10 through 18 years of age and adults ages 19 through 64 years.

_____ emphasized that it is also important for parents to be sure that their children 6 years of age and younger are up-to-date with their DTaP shots.  DTaP vaccine is the diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine given to children under 7 years of age. Babies should receive DTaP vaccine at 2, 4, and 6 months of age and a fourth dose at 12 to 18 months of age.  DTaP is available from the child’s regular doctor, clinic or local health department.

The _____ County Health Department recommends that all adolescents and adults up to age 64 in the following groups receive one dose of Tdap vaccine if they have not already received a dose: 

  1. Adults who have or who anticipate having close contact with infants younger than 12 months of age (e.g., parents, grandparents, childcare providers, healthcare workers).
  2. Health care personnel in hospitals or outpatient care settings who have direct patient contact and have not previously received Tdap. Priority should be given to vaccination of workers in direct contact with infants.
  3. New mothers should ask their doctor if they should receive a dose of Tdap immediately after their baby is born, even before they leave the hospital. 
  4. Pregnant women who received their last Td booster (tetanus and diphtheria booster) 10 or more years ago should talk with their doctor about receiving Tdap during or immediately following the pregnancy.

For more information, contact the _____ County Health Department at (phone number).

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