Cadence Health Clinic expanding vaccination program

Published: Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

GENEVA – Cadence Health Vaccine Clinic is expanding the kinds of immunizations it offers to eligible Kane County children and adults, according to a news release.

“We’ve added pertussis vaccinations due to an unsettling rise in the number of cases of what is known as whooping cough,” said Stephanie Farrell, a nurse in the health system’s Community and Health Outreach Department, the release stated.

Whooping cough is caused by a bacterial infection and is defined as persistent, violent and rapid coughing lasting at least two weeks. A highly contagious disease, whooping cough is spread by breathing in the bacteria expelled during a coughing fit or sneeze.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the number of cases in Illinois increased two-fold between 2011 and 2012.

The pertussis vaccine is offered to mothers and others in close contact with infants in an approach called “cocooning,” the release stated.

“Cocooning surrounds and protects infants from the disease until they have built up immunity through their own immunizations, which do not start until two months of age,” Farrell said.

The clinic was established to fill a gap when the Kane County Department of Health was restructured and stopped offering immunization clinics outside of its offices, Farrell said in the release.

Eligible children may receive all the CDC-recommended vaccinations through the agency’s Vaccines for Children’s program.

The vaccines’ doses are provide by the federal government free of charge.

Cadence Health is responsible for staffing and supplies. In total, the program in Kane County has provided vaccinations worth more than $130,000, according to the release.