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Local health officials encouraging revaccination

It's cause to be concerned for parents, after more than a dozen adolescents in Tippecanoe and Benton counties are fighting whooping cough, despite being vaccinated.

Posted: Dec. 13, 2018 11:08 PM
Updated: Dec. 13, 2018 11:42 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — It's cause to be concerned for parents, after more than a dozen adolescents in Tippecanoe and Benton counties are fighting whooping cough, despite being vaccinated.

However local health experts said there's a good reason why the solution still lies in shots and it all has to do with timing. 

"It's not actually true that the vaccine isn't working," said Assistant Professor in Purdue School of Nursing Libby Richards. 

Richards said it's possible the people affected even had vaccines from completely different manufacturers.

"Whoever has the best price at the right time frame is likely where the vaccines are coming from, so very likely it's coming from different places," she said. 

Both Benton and Tippecanoe counties are in the process of sending lot numbers to the state health department to investigate.
Richards has another idea of why so many don't seem to be working

"Given that it's happening in older kids and adolescents, it's really not that uncommon because we know that's the age group when the immunity starts to decrease."

Richards said parents should consider getting their children revaccinated even if they've already had the tdap or more commonly known, as the booster shot. 

Young children receive 5 doses of the vaccine, the last one between 4 and 6 years old. Meaning older children and even some adults may need it a second time.

"It has most commonly in it is tetanus so when we talk about getting a tetanus vaccine every 10 years, we now have some pertussis in that tetanus shot," she said. 

Anyone who is unsure if their last booster had both Pertussis and Tetanus should talk to their doctors about getting it again.

"Unfortunately sometimes we need to see these cases to remind us of the importance of vaccination," said Richards. 

You can get vaccinated at your local health department, your family doctor or at most clinics.

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