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In response to California’s whooping cough emergency Safeway, Vons, and Pavilions pharmacies in the state are now offering Adacel, a booster vaccine for people ages 11 through 64 on a walk-in basis.
California's incidences of whooping cough have reached a 60-year high, with more than 5,200 confirmed, suspected and possible cases this year, according to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). Because of the sudden increase, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger recently signed a bill requiring seventh-through-12th-grade students to get a whooping cough booster shot before the start of the next school year.
Whooping cough is a highly contagious bacterial illness spread by coughs and sneezes. People who have contracted the illness have severe coughing attacks, and a typical case starts with a cough and runny nose for one to two weeks, followed by weeks of rapid coughing fits that sometimes end with a "whooping" sound.
A growing number of insurance plans cover the whooping cough booster vaccine, decreasing, or eliminating out-of-pocket costs for consumers.
Pleasanton, Calif.-based Safeway operates 1,712 stores in the United States and western Canada.