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  • Drop-in clinics offer vaccines for flu, whooping cough

    Drop-in clinics are offering free immunizations for all children from birth through age 18 in Tacoma, Gig Harbor and Puyallup.

    2-7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18
    Mary Bridge Child Express at MultiCare Gig Harbor Medical Park
    4545 Point Fosdick Drive N.W., Gig Harbor.
    No appointments necessary.
    253-530-8011

    4-6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 19
    Mary Bridge Mobile Immunization Clinic
    Al Davies Boys & Girls Club,
    1620 S. 17th St., Tacoma.
    No appointments necessary.
    253-502-4631

    12:30-5 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday
    MultiCare Immunization Clinic at South Hill Mall
    3500 South Meridian, Puyallup
    No appointments necessary.
    253-697-1426

    For adults ages 18 and older, two locations offer drop-in immunizations, as well as other health services:

    MultiCare Express Tacoma
    Inside the Rite Aid at 7041 Pacific Ave.
    253-474-2120
    No appointments necessary.
    9 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Friday
    10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

    MultiCare Express Lakewood
    Inside the Rite Aid at 5700 100th St. S.W.
    253-584-2119
    No appointments necessary.
    9 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Friday
    10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

    Additionally, here's some advice from Carolyn Cook, RN, who gives vaccinations at the Mary Bridge Mobile Immunization Clinic:

    Whooping cough (pertussis) vaccine is available at no charge to anyone caring for an infant under one year of age who is uninsured or cannot afford the vaccine. It is important that all caregivers are immunized so they do not pass on the disease to babies. Please call 253-792-6630 for an appointment or come to any of the walk in clinics.

    The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that everyone receive pertussis-containing vaccines at 2, 4, 6, and 15-18 months of age(may be given at 12 months), then at 4-6 years and 11-12 years.

    In addition, all adults who have not received a Tdap vaccine (the tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis vaccine for people over 7) should do so now — the CDC recommends receiving the Tdap vaccine at least two week before you have contact with an infant, if at all possible.

    Remember that the effectiveness of vaccines can wear off as the years go by, so if you haven’t had a whooping cough vaccine in a long time, you should get one now. You should also get one even if you've had whooping cough in the past.

    Pregnant women who are at least 20 weeks gestation should also receive a Tdap vaccine. This will protect both the mother (who often is the contact for babies who get whooping cough) and the newborn who will have protection through mom’s antibodies.

    Whooping cough vaccines are widely available at doctor's offices, and are also offered by many pharmacies and walk-in clinics.

    The Mary Bridge Mobile Immunization Clinic provides free immunizations to all children from birth through 18 years of age. The clinic provides all immunizations that are recommended by the CDC.

    Immunizations are provided at Boys and Girls clubs, community centers, WIC offices, and schools.

    The Mary Bridge Mobile Immunization van travels throughout Pierce County. 

    Our goal is to provide excellent service with minimal wait times. When the clinic is very busy there may be unavoidable waiting time. If your child has special needs or is very fearful and needs extra time, please call the clinic for an appointment.

    Please bring your child's shot record with you. For the safety of your child it is important for the immunization nurse to know what shots your child has already received and when they were given.

    For more information about the Mobile Immunization Clinic, call 253-403-1767 or 800-552-1419. To schedule an appointment, please call 253-792-6630.

    Any adult who can't afford a whooping cough vaccine on their own can get one at no charge at the Mary Bridge Mobile Immunization Clinic (call 253-792-6630 for an appointment) or MultiCare Immunization Clinic at the South Hill Mall (call 253-403-1767 for more information).

    For more pertussis information, please see the Washington State Department of Health website, www.doh.wa.gov, or the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, www.tpchd.org/pertussis.

    Posted on Dec 18, 2012 in Gig Harbor, Clinics, Women's Health, Tacoma, Kids' Health