Wednesday, September 5, 2012 - 4:09am
Avoid the Rush and Get Protection Against Whooping Cough Outbreak
School has already started in most of Dane County, and in the rush to buy backpacks and notebooks, you may have not gotten to the vaccinations that are required by schools and by athletic teams. Putting it off can be problematic for a couple of reasons.
One is that demand for vaccinations tends to spike in October. For example, Public Health - Madison & Dane County's (PHMDC) immunization clinics served twice as many people in October as they did in September. This increase means longer lines and longer delays.
Another reason is more important. The State of Wisconsin, including Dane County is seeing an increased number of cases of whooping cough (pertussis). Getting vaccinated sooner than later will offer your children more protection against this long lasting and extremely unpleasant illness. The greatest number of pertussis cases in Dane County this year has been among school-age children. The Tdap vaccine helps prevent whooping cough or lessen its severity.
The last reason has to do with a limited time opportunity. As of October 1st, PHMDC will only be able to offer free vaccines to
• children without health insurance
• children on Medical Assistance (MA)
• those who are Native American/Alaskan Native
• those who have only major medical insurance.
These changes are the result of Federal budget cuts. While we have always recommended that those with health insurance get their vaccines from their health care providers, we have been able to accommodate those with inadequate coverage. After October 1st, we will no longer have that flexibility.
Please remember that getting vaccinated helps protect other people too. Each immunized person becomes a link in a protective shield that keeps these diseases from spreading widely.
You can easily check your or your children's immunization records through the Wisconsin Immunization Registry's website at:
PHMDC has walk in immunization clinics in Madison (East and South), Verona, Middleton, Stoughton, and Sun Prairie. Appointments are not needed. For a schedule, call (608) 246-4516, or go to http://www.publichealthmdc.com/documents/ImmClinicSchedules2012.pdf.
For more information on required and suggested vaccinations, see our web page at http://www.publichealthmdc.com/disease/immunizations/
Public Health - Madison & Dane County
- Jeff Golden, (608) 243-0302