Source: Issaquah Press (WA)
By: Kagarise, Warren
Washington state health officials said the demand for the whooping cough vaccine has increased due to an ongoing whooping cough epidemic. The state registry recorded 82,453 doses of Tdap, as the whooping cough vaccine is called, from March 25 through May 26 for adults age 19 and older. The number is more than double the 34,171 doses recorded during the same period a year ago. And among health plans, Tdap vaccinations in April rose by almost 60 percent more than a year ago for members of Group Health, and by 70 percent in comparison to the average month for members of Premera Blue Cross. “Adults in Washington are doing their part by getting the whooping cough booster, called Tdap,” state Secretary of Health Mary Selecky said in a statement. “The increase in adult vaccination is vital to protecting babies who are the most vulnerable because they’re too young to be fully vaccinated.” So far this year, the state has 2,092 reported cases of whooping cough, which is its highest number since the 1940s.