- By Carole Watson
- Posted Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Increase in Tdap Vaccine Availability
Due to the increase in pertussis (whooping cough) cases in North Carolina in recent months, the North Carolina Immunization Program is providing Tdap vaccine universally (i.e., without charge and regardless of insurance status) to all persons from age 7 years and up for whom pertussis protection is indicated, specifically, 7 through 9 year olds who have not completed their primary DTaP series and all persons age 10 years and up who have not yet had a Tdap vaccine (which was licensed in 2005). This free Tdap vaccine will be available until supplies are depleted.
Although anyone 7 years of age and older who has not had a Tdap may receive it, there is special emphasis on the following groups:
- Those who are, or will be, in contact with infants, including women who may become pregnant, pregnant women past 20 weeks gestation, and all close contacts of infants aged <12 months (parents, siblings, grandparents, household contacts, and childcare providers). This is referred to as "cocooning infants" by surrounding them with vaccinated persons, since young children are not fully protected with their DTaP series until 15-18 months of age.
- Healthcare personnel, who are defined as paid and unpaid persons working in healthcare settings who have the potential for exposure to patients and/or to infectious materials.
- Anyone with a pre-existing, chronic, respiratory disease and their close contacts.
- Any child 18 years of age and under with no documented Tdap.
Tdap vaccine is available at the Forsyth County Department of Public Health (Clinic 3) during regular clinic hours:
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday: 8:30 am - 3:45 pm
Thursday: 9:30 am - 6:45 pm
Friday: 8:30 am - 11:45 am
Tdap is also available through all private providers in North Carolina who utilize state-supplied vaccines (most pediatricians and many family practice offices).