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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Contact:
Dr. Diana Yu, Health Officer, Thurston County Public Health & Social Services Department, 360-867-2501
Mary Ann O'Garro, Epidemiologist, Thurston County Public Health & Social Services Department, 360-867-2525

Adult Whooping Cough Immunization Clinic in Yelm on June 21


OLYMPIA - The Thurston County Public Health & Social Services Department will be holding a public Adult Whooping Cough immunization clinic on Thursday, June 21 from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Yelm City Park Stage at 208 First St. S. in Yelm. The clinic is for adults who have no health insurance or whose insurance does not cover the vaccine. Immunizations are available at no cost on a first-come-first-served basis. The clinic is being held during Yelm Prairie Days. The Thurston County Medical Reserve Corps and Yelm Lions Club are clinic sponsors.

"The Lions Club felt the need to intervene in this epidemic," said Pedro Garcia, president of the Yelm Lions Club. "We serve our community and appreciate the opportunity to collaborate to help others." For more information about the June 21 Yelm immunization clinic call the Health Department's Public Information Line at (360) 709-3080 or visit www.co.thurston.wa.us/health/pertussis/index.html.Washington state health officials recently declared that this year's outbreak of whooping cough, also known as pertussis, had reached epidemic levels. There have been 27 confirmed cases of whooping cough in Thurston County since the start of 2012. About 40% of these cases are in the Yelm area. In 2011, there were 10 cases in the county.

Yelm-area residents can also get whooping cough immunizations at Tim's Pharmacy & Gift Shop thanks to a long-standing partnership with the county Health Department to improve access to immunizations for adults and children. Adults can get whooping cough vaccine by appointment or stopping by Tim's between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday. "Providing vaccine is something that was needed, and we're glad to do it," said pharmacist Benjamin Larsen. Tim's Pharmacy is located at 106 First St. S. in Yelm. The number to call ahead is (360) 458-8467.

The Olympia area has two options for adults who have no health insurance or whose insurance does not cover the vaccine to get a whooping cough shot. The Olympia Free Clinic signed on to provide adult whooping cough vaccine last week. "We want to help the community gain access to the vaccine," said Paula Rauen, executive director of the Olympia Free Clinic. "This is needed health care and we are in an epidemic." Adults can walk-in to the Olympia Free Clinic on Wednesdays from 5:30pm to 8:00pm. The Olympia Free Clinic is located at 108 State Ave. N.W. in Olympia. Call (360) 529-1937 for more information.

The Olympia Union Gospel Mission Medical Clinic has also signed on to provide adult whooping cough vaccine by appointment. "We see a lot of moms," said Marissa Altamirano, Olympia Union Gospel Mission medical clinic manager. "We're doing this because this is where our heart is, caring for those who are uninsured and have no money." The Olympia Union Gospel Mission Medical Clinic is located at 413 Franklin St. N.E. in Olympia. Call (360) 357-6505 to make an appointment.

While there is no shortage of whooping cough vaccine in Thurston County, there is a limited supply of the no-cost adult whooping cough vaccine supplied by the state. Those who can be immunized by their health care provider or who can afford to get immunized at their local pharmacies are strongly encouraged to use those resources.

Whooping cough vaccine prevents the illness. The vaccine will not give you whooping cough. Having had whooping cough in the past does not protect you from getting the disease again. Immunity becomes less over time, so children and adults who were immunized for whooping cough in the past may become ill with the disease. Please check with your health care provider to see if your whooping cough vaccination is current.

For more details about where to get whooping cough vaccine or to learn more about the disease itself, visit www.co.thurston.wa.us/health/pertussis/index.html or call the Health Department's Public Information Line (360-709-3080). Whooping Cough Immunization Options in Thurston CountyFor adults with no health insurance or whose insurance does not cover the vaccine
  • Health Department Adult Whooping Cough Immunization ClinicThursday, June 21, 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.Yelm City Park Stage, 208 First St. S. in Yelm(360) 709-3080 www.co.thurston.wa.us/health/pertussis/index.html
  • Tim's Pharmacy and Gift ShopWalk-in Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.Or by appointment106 First St. S. in Yelm(360) 458-8467
  • Olympia Free ClinicWalk-in Wednesdays, 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.108 State Ave. N.W. in Olympia(360) 529-1937
  • Olympia Union Gospel Mission Medical ClinicBy appointment only413 Franklin St. N.E. in Olympia(360) 357-6505

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County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3