Last-Chance Whooping Cough Vaccine Clinics Offered

Only four more Tdap – or whooping cough – vaccine clinics offering 1,600 doses will be held in the coming weeks to help middle and high school students meet the new requirement to get their booster shot, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) reported today.

Pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, cases increased to 352 in the region this week, but no one who was sick exposed large numbers of people. 

 “Students are advised to arrive early to the Tdap clinics because they are first-come, first-served and the number of doses is limited,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County Public Health Officer. “County public health is offering these clinics to try and meet an increasing demand for the vaccine before the new school year.”

A new state law requires 7th through 12th graders to show proof they have received the Tdap booster shot before they can enroll in school. AB 354 was passed as a result of the pertussis epidemic across the state, which established new records for whooping cough cases last year. In San Diego County 1,144 cases were reported, including two infant deaths.

Parents can get the Tdap booster shot for their children through their primary care physician, but students who are not covered under a medical insurance plan can obtain the shot from a local retail pharmacy for a fee, or from a County public health center or booster clinic. 

The California Department of Public Health recommends a pertussis booster vaccine 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 healthcare workers, who have contact with pregnant women or infants. Children 7 to 9 years of age who did not receive all of their routine childhood shots  should receive a Tdap booster dose.

A typical case of pertussis 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.

For more information about whooping cough and ongoing vaccination clinics, call the HHSA Immunization Branch at (866) 358-2966, or visit

Special clinics are being held at these locations:

•         Aug. 31 from 1 to 6 p.m. at the North Inland Regional Center, 600 E. Valley Parkway, Escondido; 300 doses available.

•         Sept. 2 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Monte Vista High School, 3230 Sweetwater Springs Blvd., Spring Valley; 300 doses available.

•         Sept. 2 from 2 to 6 p.m. at Standley Middle School, 6298 Radcliff Drive, San Diego; 500 doses available.

•         Sept. 12 from 3 to 7 p.m. at Health and Human Services Agency Rosecrans, 3851 Rosecrans St., San Diego; 500 doses available.