The Snohomish Health District has partnered with more than a dozen pharmacies to provide free or reduced whooping cough vaccines to low income families or those without health insurance.
An outbreak of whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is spreading throughout Washington state, where there are more than 1,000 cases reported.
Just in Snohomish County, 270 cases have been reported since January (that number reflects only those patients who sought treatment, there may be more unreported cases).
Pharmacies with free/reduced whooping cough vaccines:
- Arlington Pharmacy - 540 North West Avenue, Arlington
- Bartell's - 22833 Bothell-Everett Highway, Bothell
- Bartell's - 18001 Bothell-Everett Highway, Bothell
- Bartell's - 1115 13th Street, Snohomish
- Bartell's - 621 State Route 9 Northeast, Lake Stevens
- Bartell's - 17633 Highway 99, Lynnwood
- Bartell's - 3625 148th Avenue Street Southwest, Lynnwood
- Bartell's - 23028 100th Avenue West, Edmonds
- Bartell's - 7205 267th Street Northwest, Stanwood
- Bartell's - 5006 132nd Street Southeast, Building A, Everett
- QFC - 22828 100th Avenue West, Edmonds
- QFC - 4919 Evergreen Way, Everett
- QFC - 2615 Broadway, Everett
- QFC - 926 164th Southeast, Mill Creek
- QFC - 27008 92nd Avenue Northwest, Stanwood
Snohomish Health District clinics in Everett and Lynnwood have also received a supply of vaccines for low income families or those without insurance.
Other low-cost vaccinators are listed on the Health District’s site at www.snohd.org. Some may charge for the cost of the vaccine and an administration fee, but can discount the cost according to federal guidelines for income level. For example, Community Health Center of Snohomish County (CHC) charges an administration fee and part of the cost of the vaccine. However, people whose income falls below 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Level can receive a discount at CHC by filling out their Discounted Fee application.
Dr. Gary Goldbaum of the Snohomish Health District said the current outbreak may have worked its way up to Washington from California.
"Whooping cough is always in the environment, always circulating. It tends to pop up every three to five years," said Dr. Goldbaum.
Dr. Goldbaum advised adults get the vaccine, particularly anyone who works with children or infants. Even those who had a whooping cough vaccine when they were younger should get a booster shot, because immunity wanes over time.
Whooping cough vaccines are mandatory for children entering public schools.
Pregnant women can be vaccinated, but only after they are 22 weeks into their pregnancy.
Whooping cough can be avoided through practicing common hygiene approaches, such as cover your mouth when you cough, washing your hands, staying home if you're sick, and get vaccinated.
More information can be found at:
Join us for a special presentation of "Whooping Cough Epidemic: Protecting our Families" Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m .on KING 5.