• By Felicia Stewart
  • Posted Thursday, May 29, 2014

Tdap is No Longer Available Free to Everyone

Effective immediately, the Forsyth County Department of Public Health will no longer give Tdap at no cost. Due to the drop in the number of pertussis (whooping cough) cases, the state will no longer provide Tdaps for free to everyone. Tdaps will still be available at no cost to uninsured adults who have not yet received one and to uninsured pregnant women. The shot is required for children entering 6th grade and Medicaid and uninsured children may receive one at no cost.

Insured children and adults who need a Tdap may receive one for $62.

Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a serious respiratory illness that causes severe coughing spells that can lead to difficulty breathing, vomiting, pneumonia and even death. The cough can last for months and is sometimes referred to as ‘the 100 day cough.’ Last year, Forsyth County saw more than 150 cases. Pertussis is highly contagious from one person to another by coughing or sneezing while in close contact with others. Some people can have the illness and not know. The disease usually is much worse in infants than adults, and infants are much more likely to die from the illness. Babies do get shots called Dtap to help protect them but the series isn’t completed until just before kindergarten. Students entering 6th grade are required to get a Tdap to protect them from pertussis. Unfortunately, many adults are unprotected! These adults can unknowingly expose babies and school aged children to this dreaded disease.

The Forsyth County Department of Public Health Immunization Clinic (Clinic 3) is located at 799 N Highland Avenue in Winston-Salem and is open Monday – Wednesday 8:30 a.m. until 3:45 p.m., Thursday 9:30 a.m. – 6:45 p.m. and Friday 8:30 a.m. – 11:45 p.m. It is a walk in clinic that requires no appointment and accepts cash or checks (no credit or debit cards) and does not file insurance. Please bring your current shot record with you.

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