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Walgreens expands pertussis vaccine offering in response to Illinois outbreak


DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Tuesday expanded its offering of immunizations that provide protection against pertussis (tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis-Tdap vaccine) to all of its more than 580 pharmacies throughout Illinois with no appointment necessary.

This comes as the Illinois Department of Public Health on Tuesday alerted residents statewide to a series of pertussis outbreaks. “We note the recommendations of health officials that the best thing people can do to keep themselves and their families healthy during a possible outbreak is to get vaccinated,” said Denise Scarpelli, Illinois market pharmacy director for Walgreens. “In addition to children, who are the most vulnerable, those who care for or are in contact with children should also be immunized. We hope that through greater access to immunizations, we can keep our communities healthy and help limit the spread of the virus.”

McHenry County has reported an outbreak of more than 200 whooping cough cases, a county record, which it said is affecting more than 30 area schools. Last week, officials in Lake County issued an alert urging residents to be aware of signs and symptoms that can be associated with whooping cough (coughing, vomiting, spasms), as a growing number of cases now also are being reported in Lake and Cook Counties, as well as a number of surrounding Chicago area collar counties.

Statewide, more than 1,100 people have contracted pertussis this year, according to IDPH. Health officials in Illinois are working to educate consumers about the virus leading up to winter break for schools and the busy holiday travel season.

All Take Care Clinics, located at more than 45 select Walgreens in Illinois, also offer immunizations daily and can administer vaccine to those ages 11 through 64 years.

Walgreens pharmacists in Illinois can administer immunizations to those age 14 years and older.

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