It’s one of the most important things any parent, grandparent, or caregiver to a small child can do. It’s called the Tdap and it’s a shot, and today, I rolled up my own sleeve, not just for my own reason, but because it’s an On Your Side way to letting you know that it can save the life of someone you love.
It’s not your typical father and son activity, but a few hours ago my son Kyle and I went to the Rowan County Health Department to get Tdap shots. Kyle and wife Anna are expecting a daughter in just three weeks, and I’m pretty excited about it.
Anna told me a few weeks ago that I had to get the shot.
Here’s how it worked; we registered at this desk, then went down the hall to check in and waited to be called back. that first part only took about ten minutes. In another five we were in the room with the nurse and the needle.
The shot is important for what health workers call a “circle of protection.” That’s everyone who will come into contact with an infant. And if you wonder why it’s such a big deal, just ask Rowan County Public Health specialist Nina Oliver.
“It’s a combination vaccine it protects against tetanus, diptheria, and pertussis, (whooping cough), which is the one we are most concerned about, worried about,” Oliver told me.
Whooping cough cases were on the rise last year, it’s gotten better recently, but is still a very serious issue, that’s why health officials are stressing the importance of the shots.
“Most susceptible would be infants and children. 50% of children who have whooping cough end up in the hospital, so it can cause death,” Oliver added.
For me, the safety of my soon to be born granddaughter is at the top of the list, but daughter in law Anna gave me another very compelling reason. She said if I hadn’t taken the shot…
“You would have not been able to be around the baby without the whooping cough shot,” Anna told, emphatically.
That was enough to seal it for me!
If you are planning to get the shot, you should know that is no longer offered free at area health departments, unless you meet certain guidelines. Since I have health insurance, my cost was $53.17, but I will be able to get at least part of that back when I file the claim.
You can also schedule an appointment with your primary care physician to get the shot in the office.
In Rowan County specifically, an effort is underway to provide the vaccination for school children.
The Rowan County Health Department has partnered with Rowan-Salisbury Schools to hold three clinics.
The first, set for September 11 from 11:00am until 7:00pm, will be for up and students heading to kindergarten. Parents are urged to call 704-216-8782 to find out more and to schedule an appointment.
Tdaps will be provided for rising sixth graders on September 17 and September 26 from 2:30 pm until 6:30 pm on both days. For more information parents can call 704-216-8786.
The Tdap vaccine is required for rising sixth graders.
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