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When a community is struck by a major outbreak of disease, like a flu pandemic, public health departments spring into action by offering mass vaccination clinics. The Springfield-Greene County Health Department is training for an emergency like that this month. And as KSMU’s Jennifer Davidson reports, the training is not just a “dry run.”
The health department is holding two mass vaccination clinics this month, and even though there’s no emergency this time, the Tdap vaccine will be administered. According to a release from the health department, a federal grant is covering the cost of those vaccines, so there’s no charge for people getting the vaccine.
The Tdap vaccine is a three-in-one vaccination that protects against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough). It’s one of the vaccines that children are required to have to enroll in Missouri schools.
State law also requires Missouri students entering 8th grade to get a Tdap booster. Confirmed cases of Pertussis, or whooping cough, have increased significantly over the past few years.
The mass vaccination clinics will be held from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday, July 18 and Tuesday, July 23 at the Westside Public Health Center. That's at 660 S. Scenic Ave. in Springfield.
Anyone age 11 or older can receive the vaccine regardless of their insurance coverage status, but children ages 11 to 18 must bring a vaccination record with them to the clinic.
For KSMU News, I’m Jennifer Davidson.
From the Springfield-Greene County Health Department:
Who should receive a Tdap vaccination?
· Children ages 11 and up
· Students entering 8th grade this fall
· Any adult who is primary caretaker or is often around infants
· Pregnant women (during each pregnancy)
· Anyone who has not had a tetanus or -Tdap booster in the last 10 years
· Anyone wanting immunization from tetanus, diphtheria or pertussis
For more information about clinic hours and procedures, or to find out if a Tdap vaccination is right for you, contact the Westside Public Health Center at (417) 874-1220. Residents of other counties are encouraged to contact their local health department to find out if those agencies are participating in this program. Dates and times are being left up to the local agencies.