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Rite Aid Stores Providing Whooping Cough Vaccinations

Highly Contagious Infection at 55-Year High with More Than 4,000 Cases


Given the emphasis California health officials are placing on vaccinations to help control the current pertussis (whooping cough) epidemic, Rite Aid would like readers to know which of local Rite Aids stock this vaccine and can immunize walk-in or call-ahead patients.

Who: Patients seeking vaccination for pertussis (whooping cough), which is recommended by the California Public Department of Health for all patients 7 years and older who lack full immunity

What: Tdap, a single booster shot providing additional immunity against pertussis, tetanus and diphtheria, is recommended once after age 11 as a booster to the series of pertussis shots given to children before age 6. The shot is among vaccines against diseases available at more than 500 Rite Aid stores in California including seven stores in the greater Santa Barbara area. These same Rite Aid stores recently began administering the seasonal flu immunization.

Patients wishing to get vaccinated or with questions on topics including vaccine recommendations, availability and price should contact their local Rite Aid pharmacy, which can easily be located through the online immunization locator or from the below list.

Where:

- Fairview Shopping Center: (805) 964-9892

- 825 State Street: (805) 966-2760

- Mesa Shopping Center : (805) 564-6599

- Milpas Shopping Center: (805) 965-0787

- Santa Maria: 2405 South Broadway, (805) 925-6404

- Santa Maria: 345 Town Center West, (805) 925-1167

- Solvang: 616 Alamo Pintado Road, (805) 686-0016

When: By appointment or walk-in as available

Why: Pertussis is a highly contagious bacterial infection that can cause serious illness and death. The CDC says about half of infants less than a year of age who get the disease must be hospitalized. The current outbreak is blamed for the death of nine infants in California.

According to state officials on Sept. 16, the pertussis epidemic underway in the state is on pace to break a 55-year-old state record of 4,949 cases. Health experts have stressed the importance of booster immunizations for teens and adults who could be in contact with a child or infant lacking full immunity.

Under the recommended CDC guidelines, partial immunity is not reached until the age of one, and full immunity is not realized until the last shot is administered between the fourth and sixth year of life. Rite Aid has long carried the vaccine but is stepping up its awareness efforts for the disease due to the increased demand on public health systems due to the epidemic. For more, visit the Center for Disease Control.

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