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County Offers Free Vaccinations To Curb Whooping Cough Epidemic

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San Diego County will hold free whooping cough vaccination clinics this weekend at six Northgate markets and at the San Ysidro Port of Entry trolley stop. It's a special effort designed to protect Latinos from the disease, which is now an epidemic in California.

— San Diego County will hold free whooping cough vaccination clinics this weekend at six Northgate markets and at the San Ysidro Port of Entry trolley stop. It's a special effort designed to protect Latinos from the disease, which is now an epidemic in California.

All eight Californians who've died from whooping cough so far this year have been Latino infants.

County officials say they hope this weekend's free vaccinations will encourage more Latino families to get fully inoculated.

Karen Waters-Montijo is chief of the County's immunization branch. She says the vaccine against whooping cough, also known as pertussis, doesn't provide lifetime protection.

"The problem is our immunity against pertussis diminishes over time," says Waters-Montijo. "So even if you were vaccinated as a child, as an adult you're still vulnerable to getting the disease, if you haven't received your booster shot."

A booster shot, known as Tdap, is recommended for everyone ten years and older who hasn't received one.

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