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Health Dept. offers free TDaP vaccinations

Posted on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 at 1:11 pm

The Pike County Health Department will offer free TDaP (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) vaccinations to children 11 years old and older, and adults during three vaccination clinics in July.

The clinics will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 1 HealthCare Place, Bowling Green on the following dates:

Monday, July 1,   Pike County Health Department;

Monday, July 15, Pike County Health Department;

Monday, July 29, Pike County Health Department.

“This is a special program, due to a one-time allotment of free vaccine being provided to us by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services with a strict timeline,” says Community Health Coordinator Rhonda Stumbaugh.  “We know July is a challenging time of year for parents to be thinking about vaccinations, with family vacations and other activities going on, but we hope they will take advantage of this opportunity of getting free vaccines and protecting themselves, their loved ones, and their community.”

“I am also hoping businesses will encourage their workers to take advantage of this opportunity by being flexible with work schedules as we will be open during the noon hour,” said Stumbaugh

The TDaP vaccine offers protection against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough).  These can be very serious illnesses, even for teens and adults.

• Tetanus causes painful muscle tightening and stiffness all over the body, sometimes so severe a person can’t even open their mouth, swallow or breathe.  Tetanus kills about one out of every five people who are infected.

• Diphtheria can cause a thick coating to form in the back of the throat that leads to breathing problems, paralysis, heart failure and death.

• Pertussis is commonly known as whooping cough.  It causes severe coughing spells that can lead to problems breathing, vomiting and difficulty sleeping.  It can also lead to weight loss, incontinence, rib fractures, hospitalization, pneumonia, and even death.

One dose of TDaP is routinely given to adolescents at age 11 or 12.  People who did not get TDaP at that age should get it as soon as possible.   All adults are now recommended to receive 1 Tdap dose.  Pregnant women should receive a TDaP during each pregnancy to protect the newborn baby.

To minimize an infant’s risk of being exposed to disease and serious illness, it is very important for anyone who has close contact with an infant under one year old to be vaccinated, including parents, siblings, grandparents, child care workers, and other caregivers.

TDaP vaccinations will be offered at no charge during these three clinics, regardless of insurance status.

For more information, contact the Pike County Health Department at 573-324-2111 or go to our website