By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Whooping Cough Shot Clinic Scheduled
Last year's experience with the H1N1 flu virus has prompted some extra concern about this year's threat, which is coming in the form of Whooping Cough.

The whooping cough is making a comeback and, in hopes of heading off serious health issues and possible absenteeism due to illness this winter, there will be a special vaccination clinic hosted this week.

"This is a special state funded vaccine (shot clinic) which is being put on by San Joaquin County Department of Public Health," explained Escalon Unified School District Nurse Cassie Micheletti .

"This vaccination clinic will offer vaccinations for Whooping Cough (Pertussis) and Tetanus. The cost is free and anyone ages 11 and older are eligible."

Micheletti said the clinic is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 30 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and the clinic will be hosted in the Escalon High School auditorium.

"Those who are without health insurance or a doctor are highly encouraged to attend," added Micheletti.

Those that are pregnant and are in their first trimester of pregnancy need a prescription from their doctor prior to getting vaccinated. The most common side effect of the vaccination itself is soreness around the injection site that usually subsides after a day.

"Whooping cough is becoming very active in our schools and communities and vaccination is a primary key in slowing down and eventually stopping the spread of the disease," Micheletti said, noting that concerns are that it could have a wider impact than the H1N1 flu virus did last year.

Whooping Cough is spread through contact and droplets so being next to someone who is sneezing or coughing, or touching a surface that has been infected and then touching your nose or mouth are the most common forms of transmission for this disease. Whooping Cough does not discriminate, Micheletti added, it is something that anyone can catch and it can last for weeks to months. As in any illness, those special populations such as infants, young children, older adults, and those people with chronic illnesses, immune-compromised individuals are at greater risk for contracting the disease and are at greater risk for complications from having the disease as well. Those who have chronic illness or are immune-compromised need to check with their doctor prior to receiving a vaccination against the disease. Children, who are current with their childhood immunizations as according to the California Immunization Schedule, have been vaccinated against whooping cough and should continue to receive their routine vaccinations according to schedule. School-aged children will need a booster for Whooping Cough and Tetanus in the seventh grade. Adults also need a Whooping Cough and Tetanus shot if they have not had one within the last five years.

For more information regarding this vaccination clinic or whooping cough, contact the Escalon Unified School District at 838-3591 or San Joaquin County Department of Public Health at 468-3822.

"Please help keep everyone in the community healthy and safe and get vaccinated," Micheletti urged. "I want the community to know this will be here and getting vaccinated is the key."

The shot clinic is just one of the ways the school district is coordinating with the community to help keep students healthy. The Stanislaus County Office of Education brought its mobile hearing unit to local campuses recently, doing hearing checks for students in kindergarten, second, fifth, eighth and 10th grades. Micheletti was handling the vision checks at the same time the hearing van was at the campuses, screening students in first, third, fifth and eighth grades for any vision problems.

The district contracts with Stanislaus County to bring the hearing van to the sites and students may be directed for follow up with their own doctor based on the hearing or vision screenings.