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The Board of Health is reminding the public that it has Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) vaccine currently in stock for immunization of adults over 18 years of age.
Although practically all U.S.-born individuals received this vaccination as children, the immunity it once conferred is no longer active. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (C.D.C.) now recommend that all adults receive one additional shot of Tdap in their adult years. Unfortunately, as this vaccine is not universally stocked by local private physicians’ offices, the Board of Health is offering this vaccine to meet an unmet local need.
The Tdap shot may be administered at any time irrespective of the interval since the last previous tetanus vaccination. Unfortunately, C.D.C. statistics indicate that fewer than 20% of adults are “current” on receiving a tetanus shot, a vaccination long-recommended by the C.D.C for adults every 10 years; tetanus is included as a component in the Tdap vaccine.
Additionally the booster provided by the whooping cough (pertussis) component in the Tdap vaccine provides adults with active immunity necessary to prevent transmission of whooping cough to newborns and young infants with whom they might have close contact. Babies have no natural immunity to whooping cough and are not fully immunized for at least the first few years of life. Therefore, to prevent transmission to infants, it particularly recommended that adults who have or may have close contact with infants receive a Tdap booster shot.
The cost of the shot for subscribers of Medicare and Medicare Advantage Programs is $6.00. Massachusetts private and public insurers offering corporate or non-group policies to individuals under age 65 fully cover costs related to any C.D.C.–recommended adult vaccination with no out-of-pocket charge (no co-pay).
Kindly call the Longmeadow Board of Health Public Health Nurse (565-4154) to schedule an appointment for Tdap vaccination. Kindly provide the nurse with the name of the insurance company when making the appointment in order to verify your insurance coverage. You will also need to bring your insurance card to the vaccination appointment.