Important information on Whooping Cough

5-12-2012 Urgent Update on Whooping Cough to All Foster Parents

Last week Children’s Administration (CA) issued a notice for foster parents and relative caregivers about the Pertussis “Whooping Cough” epidemic. Caregivers must still immediately notify the child’s social worker if a foster or relative child is diagnosed with whooping cough. Also, foster parents are to contact their licensor to issue a Stop Placement, if anyone in their home is diagnosed with whooping cough.

Because of the seriousness of this epidemic, CA is announcing a new requirement to safeguard the health of infant children. CA will not make new placements of infants under two (2) years of age in a licensed foster home unless all family members in the home have received the appropriate whooping cough vaccine or booster for their age. There will be no exceptions for new placements of children.

 If all family members are fully vaccinated for Whooping Cough,
including a booster shot as appropriate for whooping cough, you may
accept placement of an infant 0 – 2 years old.

 If all family members are not fully vaccinated, including a booster shot
as appropriate for whooping cough:
o Do Not accept placement of an infant 0 – 2 years old.
o Contact your regional office if you are contacted for a placement of
a child 0 – 2 years old and all family members are not fully
immunized for whooping cough.

Kids under seven should get a series of five DTaP vaccines. Kids aged 7 to 10 years who aren’t fully vaccinated against whooping cough and everyone aged 11 and older should get a whooping cough booster, called Tdap. For more information on these vaccines visit:

Get whooping cough vaccine from:
 Your healthcare provider
 Most pharmacies
 Clinics
 Your local health department

If you need information on health insurance or help finding a healthcare provider, call the Family Health Hotline at 1-800-322-2588 or visit; Most Health care programs and Medicaid provide coverage for the whooping cough vaccine. Foster families licensed for infants 0-2 years who demonstrate a financial hardship in obtaining the immunization should contact their child’s social worker or DLR licensor. If you have any questions about your whooping cough immunization status, consult your family medical provider.

From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Tdap contains protection against Pertussis (whooping cough). Adolescents 11-18 years of age (preferably at age 11-12 years) and adults 19 through 64 years of age should receive a single dose of Tdap. For adults 65 and older who have close contact with an infant and have not previously received Tdap, one dose should be received. Tdap should also be given to 7-10 year olds who are not fully immunized against pertussis.

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