Free clinic today for whooping cough vaccine |

Free clinic today for whooping cough vaccine

Nevada County Public Health Department officials are hosting a free pertussis vaccination clinic today in an attempt to combat the potentially fatal disease.

The health department’s free clinic runs from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Grass Valley Veterans Memorial building on 255 S. Auburn St. Children under 18 must be accompanied by a legal guardian.

The department advises the following groups of people to be vaccinated against pertussis:

• Infants: May begin the multidose series between the ages of 6-8 weeks. They will not be fully protected until completing the series.

• Women of childbearing age, before, during and after pregnancy

• Parents, grandparents and other caregivers of infants and young children

• Children who have not been fully vaccinated.

• Anyone over the age of 7 years who has not had a booster shot.

Whooping cough starts with cold-like symptoms, a low or nonexistent fever and coughing. Coughing can last several months and lead small infants to die from lack of oxygen, health department officials said.

Nevada County has seen five confirmed cases of infection by the pertussis virus, known as whooping cough for the deep cough it can produce, health department officials said. The cases have occurred in both children and adults.

Across California, whooping cough has killed eight children under the age of six months this year.

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