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Public urged to get vaccines, now available at clinics

September 8, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) updated 4 p.m.– A five-year-old at Boulder Oaks Elementary School in Alpine is among 11 new cases of whooping cough reported by the San Diego County Department of Health & Human Services last week.


The County urges people to get whooping cough vaccinations from their family physician.  "However, if an individual does not have a family doctor, the vaccine is also available at the County’s seven public health centers at minimal or no cost; one of them is located at 855 East Madison in El Cajon," County spokesman Jose Alvarez told East County Magazine.



 A statewide epidemic of whooping cough was declared this summer. In San Diego, 468 cases have been reported this year—the highest on record. Seven babies have died, including a San Diego infant.

“It is extremely important for all children and adults to be fully immunized; especially adults who have contact with babies and small children,” said Dean Sidelinger, M.D., M.S.Ed., Deputy County Public Health Officer

The California Department of Health sent a letter last month to doctors urging them to be alert for signs of the illness and to hospitalize infants with early signs of whooping cough. A typical case of pertussis in children and adults starts with a cough and runny nose for one-to-two weeks, followed by weeks to months of rapid coughing fits that sometimes end with a whooping sound. Fever, if present, is usually mild. The disease is treatable with antibiotics, but without prompt treatment, the consequence can be deadly.

Are you and your child up-do-date with the whooping cough immunizations? There are three ways to get the vaccine to protect yourself and your family from the disease that keeps infecting people in our region.

The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) is recommending that people with medical coverage go to their private provider to obtain the pertussis or whooping cough vaccine. People with no primary care physician can go to HHSA’s Public Health Centers or to any of the six Northgate Markets or the San Ysidro port of entry to receive protection against the disease.

The clinics at the six Northgate Markets locations will be held on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The San Ysidro Port of Entry clinic will be held on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The clinics are scheduled to continue on weekends until Sept. 26, based on vaccine availability.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that children get one dose of DTaP vaccine at the following ages: 2 months; 4 months; 6 months; 15 to 18 months and 4 to 6 years.

The CDC also recommends that children receive a booster shot of Tdap vaccine at 10-11 yrs. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) recommends an adolescent-adult pertussis booster vaccine (Tdap) for everyone 10 years or older who has not yet received it, especially women of childbearing age, before, during, or immediately after pregnancy; and other people, including household contacts, caregivers, and health care workers, who have contact with pregnant women or infants.

Children 7-9 years of age who did not receive all of their routine childhood shots are recommended to receive a Tdap booster dose.

In addition to the County medical clinics, several additional locations and dates have been announced for vaccination clinics (all are held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Sept. 26, subject to vaccine availability):


San Ysidro Port of Entry, 720 East San Ysidro Blvd, San Diego
Northgate Market, 2909 Coronado Avenue, San Diego
Northgate Market, 1410 South 43rd Street, San Diego
Northgate Market, 1058 3rd Avenue, Chula Vista
Northgate Market, 1346 South Mission Road, Fallbrook
Northgate Market, 1150 East Vista Way, Vista
Northgate Market, 606 North Escondido, Escondido

Last week’s new pertussis cases where there is a potential for public exposure are:

A 7-year-old and an 8-year-old who are up-to-date with immunizations and attend Hannalei Elementary School in the Vista Unified School District. Contact: Steve Hargrave (760) 726-2170 ext. 2253


A 7-year-old and a 9-year-old who are up to date with immunizations and attended Adventure Day Camp at Jack’s Pond Recreation Center, which was sponsored by City of San Marcos Community Services. Contact: Jenny Peterson (760) 744-1050 ext. 3169.


A 16-year-old who is up-to-date with immunizations and attends Vista High School in the Vista Unified School District), PIO: Contact: Raylene Veloz (760) 726-2170 ext. 2219.


A 5-year old who is up-to-date with immunizations and attends Boulder Oaks Elementary School in the Alpine School District. Contact: Tom Pellegrino, (619) 445-3236


An 11-year-old who is due for the Tdap booster shot and attends Park Dale Lane Elementary School in the Encinitas Union School District. Contact: Liz Wallace (760) 944-4300.


An 8-year-old who is up-to-date with immunizations and attends La Costa Heights Elementary School in the Encinitas Union School District. Contact: Lil Volkening (760) 944-4380.


A 3-year-old who is not up-to-date with immunizations and attends St. Mark’s Nursery School, a private preschool in San Diego. Contact: M’Lu Colburn (858) 273-1489.


A 12-year-old who is due for the Tdap booster shot and attends Aviara Oaks Middle School in the Carlsbad Unified School District. Contact: Ellen Durham, (760) 331-5000.


An 11-year-old who was up-to-date with immunizations and attends Hidden Valley Middle School in the Escondido Union School District. Contact: Randy Garcia (760) 432-2247


For more information about whooping cough, please call the HHSA Immunization Branch toll-free at (866) 358-2966, or visit the web site at www.sdiz.org.