Stanislaus County will hold vaccination clinics to combat a statewide whooping cough epidemic.
The county's Health Services Agency is targeting its clinics for high-risk populations: postpartum mothers; fathers of newborns; others in the home who might provide care for the infant such as siblings and grandparents (younger than 65); and day-care workers.
The cost is based on a sliding scale of up to $10. No one will be denied a vaccination because of his or her inability to pay.
The clinics will be held on the following dates:
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Ceres Family Resource Center, 2908 Fourth St., 1 to 3 p.m.
Modesto WIC program, 251 E. Hackett Road, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.)
Riverbank Family Resource Center, 2201 Morrill Road, 9 to 11 a.m.
Waterford WIC, 325 D St., Suite 2, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (closed 12 to 12:30 p.m.)
Ceres WIC, 3109 Whitmore Ave., 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Modesto Immunization Clinic, 820 Scenic Drive, Mondays through Wednesdays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursdays, 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m; Fridays, 8 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m.
Clinics were held Monday in Turlock and Oakdale.
On Monday, state public health officials encouraged women in their childbearing years to be immunized.
Women can be vaccinated before pregnancy, during the second or third trimester, or immediately after giving birth.
Whooping cough was declared an epidemic in California in June.
As of July 13, at least 1,496 cases of whooping cough, also known as pertussis, have been found statewide, a fivefold increase over the same period last year, said California Department of Public Health epidemiologist Dr. Gil Chavez.
Whooping cough is highly contagious. Infants, especially those who are younger than 6 months, are particularly vulnerable.
There were 64 confirmed cases of whooping cough in Stanislaus County as of Thursday, according to county health officials. That's a ninefold increase from the same period last year.
Five Californians, including a Stanislaus County infant, have died of whooping cough this year. All were Latino babies younger than 3 months, too young to be immunized. The cause of a sixth infant death is under investigation.
A case of whooping cough may appear similar to a cold for up to two weeks, followed by weeks or months of rapid coughing fits that sometimes end with a whooping sound.
For more information, go to http://hsahealth.com or call 558-7400.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.