Adults who live with and care for infants are urged to receive a vaccine to protect those children from pertussis, better known as whooping cough. Because children under the age of one year are not fully vaccinated, they can get whooping cough from their parents, grandparents, guardians and child care providers.
The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD) is participating in a new program to provide uninsured and under-insured adults (age 19 and older) with the Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis) vaccine. The administration fee is $19.80 per vaccine, but no one will be refused the vaccine due to inability to pay. Qualified adults can call 402-441-8065 to speak to a nurse about the vaccine and to make an appointment.
Whooping cough can cause serious and sometimes life-threatening complications in infants. More than half of infants under one year of age who get the illness will be hospitalized. Of those infants who are hospitalized with whooping cough, about one in five will get pneumonia and one in 100 will die.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recommends whooping cough vaccination for pregnant women after 20 weeks gestation because it optimizes protection of the infant at birth. Whooping cough vaccination is fully compatible with breast-feeding.
Uninsured adults are defined as individuals who do not have Medicaid, Medicare, private or governmental forms of insurance. Under-insured adults have some form of health insurance, but their insurance plan does not cover the cost of Tdap.
More information on LLCHD is available at lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: health).