DARRINGTON — Tailored for people with busy schedules, free whooping cough shots will be available from 5-7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 9, at the Cascade Valley Darrington Clinic, located at 1190 Riddle St.
This special access to pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine is part of the Snohomish Health District's ongoing fight with an epidemic of the illness in Snohomish County. Six previous free clinics in the county vaccinated a total of 1,270 adults.
The Snohomish Health District continues to encourage all adults, especially those who have contact with infants, to get vaccinated against this preventable disease. People of all ages need booster shots to maintain their immunity, and most adults aren't up to date on their shots. A single shot known as "Tdap" prevents tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis.
Whooping cough is a highly contagious respiratory disease that is harbored and spread by adults and children, and is particularly harmful to infants, who have no immunity. Children and adults become sick enough to miss school and work for several days, up to two weeks.
As of April 27, the Snohomish Health District has confirmed 250 reports of whooping cough in 2012, although most cases go unreported, especially in adults. Letters notifying parents that their children may have been exposed to the disease have gone out to elementary, middle and high schools, as well as youth sports, weekend events, daycares and other activities.
You may download vaccine information sheets and consent forms in English and Spanish at the Snohomish Health District's website at www.snohd.org.