CVS to administer whooping cough vaccine in California stores

CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic announced on Thursday that they will be offering the pertussis vaccine at all of its California locations.

The announcement comes in response to the state's pertussis, or whooping cough, epidemic.

Pertussis is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection. Symptoms in children include a two-week cough and runny nose, leading to a worsening cough with a "whooping" sound. Infants may have a red or purple face without a cough.

Californians can receive Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) vaccinations without an appointment at the state's 850 CVS/pharmacy locations and 47 MinuteClinic locations.

Anyone over the age of nine can be vaccinated at the pharmacies. Children over the age of 18 months can receive the vaccination at the MinuteClinic from nurse practitioners.

"Providing a range of important vaccinations at CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic is part of our purpose of helping people on their path to better health," Papatya Tankut, the vice president of pharmacy affairs at CVS Caremark, said. "This includes the Tdap vaccine, which is the best protection against the whooping cough outbreak that has struck California."

Adults are encouraged to receive a Tdap booster shot every 10 years. The vaccination is also recommended to anyone in regular contact with an infant.