Merced County California

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Whooping Cough (Pertussis)
Pertussis (whooping cough)
Pertussis (whooping cough) is a highly contagious bacterial illness spread by coughing and sneezing. People sick with pertussis have severe coughing attacks that can last for months. Click here for more information on Whooping Cough (Pertussis) from the Centers for Disease Control.

Vaccination is the best defense against whooping cough. However, the immunity from vaccines wears off over time and pertussis booster vaccine rates in adolescents and adults continue to be low. As a result, pertussis continues to circulate widely in Merced County and statewide, resulting in the hospitalization and death of young infants who are too young to get their shots.

In response to the high levels of disease and death from pertussis in California during 2010, it is recommended that everyone make sure that they are immunized against pertussis, especially if they are in contact with infants.

New School Entry Requirement for 2011 – Tdap Booster
A new school immunization law requires all students entering 7th through 12th grades in the 2011-2012 school year in California to be immunized with vaccine booster called Tdap. Click here for more information on the new law (AB354).

Where Can Children Get the Tdap Booster?
Children should visit their regular doctor or health care provider to get their Tdap booster and other immunizations as soon as possible to avoid the back-to-school rush. Medi-Cal, CHDP, Healthy Families and most private insurances cover the cost of immunizations.

Free or low cost immunizations for children 18 years and younger who do not have insurance or whose insurance does not cover immunizations are available through the Vaccines for Children Program (VFC). Click here to find a VFC provider near you.

During the summer months, the Merced County Department of Public Health will offer Tdap booster shots in our Regular Clinics in both the cities of Merced and Los Banos. Call the Merced County Tdap Shots for Schools Info Line at (209) 381-1180 for more information [Llame a la línea de información español (209) 381 -1181]


Information for Schools

Department of Public Health Whopping Cough Information Line
Phone Numbers:
(209) 381-1180 English
(209) 381-1181 En español / in Spanish


Merced County 2222 M Street Merced, CA 9543 Ph. (209) 385-7434 Toll Free (800) 226-6452