Vt. offers free whooping cough vaccines - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vt. offers free whooping cough vaccines

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

Vermont health officials hope this will be a first big step toward stopping the spread of whooping cough.

Hundreds turned out in Burlington Wednesday for one of the 12 clinics being held across the state. The Vt. Health Department is offering free vaccinations to anyone 11 and up.

The number of confirmed cases of whooping cough or pertussis is up tenfold from last year. Health officials blamed the spike on adult carriers. Doctors say childhood vaccinations become less effective over time, and without a booster shot, adults can contract the virus and pass it to vulnerable children.

"I work at South Burlington High School and we were encouraged by the school nurse to get the vaccine and because of our exposure to many different things the young things people bring into school, flu and etc, thought it would be a good idea to get the shot," Stanley Sankowski said.

"Offering the vaccine for free is one way to eliminate barriers that people may have about co-pays or if they don't have a health care provider, even though we encourage it. So, this is just one way to make it easier for everyone," said Heather Danis of the Vt. Health Department.

The free vaccine clinics are open until 6 p.m. Click here for more.

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