Pharmacists at more than 500 Rite Aid drug stores in California are helping the state address a growing health crisis by providing ready access to shots for pertussis, or whooping cough.


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Rite Aid helps California stem whooping cough outbreak

September 27th, 2010

CAMP HILL, Pa. – Pharmacists at more than 500 Rite Aid drug stores in California are helping the state address a growing health crisis by providing ready access to shots for pertussis, or whooping cough.

Rite Aid said Monday that the highly contagious bacterial infection — which California health officials report is now on pace to break state epidemic levels not seen in 50 years — is among 14 common diseases for which the drug chain's certified immunizing pharmacists can provide vaccinations.

"Helping protect against whooping cough in California is just another example of how convenient neighborhood Rite Aid pharmacists can help the community stay healthy," Robert Thompson, executive vice president of pharmacy at Rite Aid, said in a statement. "Administering these shots is part of Rite Aid's expanded national immunization program, with more than 7,000 pharmacists in more than 3,000 stores vaccinating patients against flu, pneumonia and up to a dozen other highly infectious diseases."

The California Department of Public Health recently expanded its recommendations to urge anyone age 7 and over without full immunity get vaccinated for whooping cough, according to Rite Aid. The drug chain said that although California is among the majority of states requiring schoolchildren to get vaccinated, full immunity is impossible at a very young age, and nine infants have died as a result. Rite Aid pharmacists in California can vaccinate anyone age 7 and over against pertussis.

Other vaccines available at Rite Aid stores in California include hepatitis A and B, influenza, human papillomavirus, meningococcal disease, pneumococcal disease, shingles, tetanus, diptheria, measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox.

Earlier this month, Walgreens announced that it was helping California in the effort to boost immunity against whooping cough by offering daily pertussis immunizations at more than 150 stores throughout the state, with no appointment needed.

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