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July 02. 2013 10:01PM

Free whooping cough vaccine

MANCHESTER — Whooping cough, a highly contagious respiratory disease, is still a threat to infants, sometimes causing death.

So the Manchester Health Department is offering free Tdap vaccine at two clinics this month, July 9 and 16.

The vaccine is being offered free to new parents, grandparents, child care providers, health care personnel and anyone else 19 years or older who hasn’t had the vaccine and is in close contact with babies younger than 12 months.

The Tdap vaccine covers tetanus, diphtheria and acellullar pertussis. Pertussis, also known as whooping cough because of the uncontrollable, violent coughing that often makes it hard to breathe, poses the greatest dangers to infants under one year, although older children and adults can also catch the disease.

Public Health Director Tim Soucy said: “This (Tdap vaccine) remains our best weapon in the prevention of pertussis.”

The Manchester Health Department, in partnership with the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services Immunization Program, is offering the vaccine at clinics from 3 to 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 9, and Tuesday, July 16, at the Manchester Health Department, 1528 Elm St.

Appointments can be made by calling 624-6466, but walkins are also welcome.

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