2012-02-23 / News

Whooping cough clinic Tuesday at Melrose

On Tuesday, Feb. 28, Police Chief Ed Mello, who serves as the director of the town’s Emergency Management Agency, along with the state Department of Health, will hold a pertussis clinic at the Melrose Avenue School from 4 to 7 p.m.

The Tdap vaccine (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) is available for anyone 11 years or older. Also, a flu vaccine will be available for anyone 6 months or older. The Tdap vaccine protects against pertussis, also known as whooping cough, which is a contagious disease that can cause illness and sometimes death, especially in infants.

According to Mello, anyone who is in close contact with an infant should get a Tdap shot if they haven’t been immunized in the past five years. Also, a Tdap vaccination is required for students before they enter seventh grade. Students who participate in the clinic will meet a vaccination requirement for seventh-grade enrollment.

Residents older than 6 months should receive a flu shot every year. Mello says it is especially important to make sure residents are vaccinated now because the flu hits hardest this time of year.

Anyone who is insured should bring his or her insurance card. However, health insurance is not a requirement for vaccination. No one will be turned away for a lack of health insurance. Pregnant women must be at least 20 weeks into their pregnancies to receive a Tdap vaccine.

For more information about the Tdap or flu vaccine, call the Department of Health at 222-5960. For questions concerning the clinic, call Mello at 423-1212.

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