The Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice of the Southwest Region, with locations in Bennington, Dorset and Rutland, provides adults 18 and older with the following Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommended immunizations, including booster shots.

  • DTP (Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis) See information about the Tdap vaccine below.
  • Meningococcal
  • Pneumonia
  • Tetanus Toxoid
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis A
  • Varicella/Chicken Pox
  • Influenza (Flu)
  • HPV (Human Papillomavirus)

Please call us at 802.770-1536 to schedule an appointment or to speak with a Community Health Nurse.

Prevent whooping cough. Get vaccinated.

There was a recent whooping cough outbreak in Vermont with more cases of the illness occurring than we usually see.   In Vermont last year, there were 645 cases of whooping cough, also called pertussis, reported. Rutland County had the highest outbreak with 131 cases.  So far, the number of cases has declined significantly due to the efforts vaccination and education.

Whooping cough is a bacterial infection of the respiratory system that causes uncontrollable coughing. The name comes from the high-pitched noise you make when you take a breath after you cough. Whooping cough is spread through coughing and sneezing.   The infection can be very serious, especially for babies and young children. About half of infants younger than 1 year old who get the disease are hospitalized.    Babies can get whooping cough from an adult or family member who may not even know they are sick with whooping cough. Infected people are most contagious up to about two weeks after the cough begins.

What’s the best way to prevent whooping cough (pertussis)?

The best way to protect yourself and the babies around you is to get vaccinated.  Health officials strongly recommend that expectant mothers get vaccinated, not only to protect themselves, but also to pass the protection on to their newborns.  Adults who care for or are around babies on a regular should also get vaccinated.

Where can I get vaccinated against whooping cough (pertussis)?

Call your local Vermont Department of Health for more information.

There are two vaccines available that protect against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis:

  • DTaP  (for babies and children through age six)
  • Tdap (for kids seven years and older, adolescents, and adults)

Who should get vaccinated?

  • Pregnant women (over 20 weeks)
  • Health care workers
  • Anyone who cares for babies less than a year old
  • All adults should get one dose of the Tdap vaccine. If you had one Tdap vaccine (first introduced in 2005), then you don’t need another one.

What are the symptoms of whooping cough (pertussis)?

Early signs start with cold-like symptoms and can last for up to two weeks and usually include:

  • Runny nose
  • Low-grade fever
  • Mild, occasional cough
  • Apnea – a pause in breathing (in infants)

Unlike the common cold, pertussis can become a series of coughing fits that continue for weeks.  As the infection progresses symptoms may include:

  • Fits of coughing followed by a high-pitched “whoop”
  • Vomiting
  • Exhaustion after a coughing fit
  • Worsened cough at night

Complications can include fractured ribs from excessively strong coughing and pneumonia, which can be a secondary infection.

How is whooping cough treated?

It’s a bacterial infection, so it can be treated with antibiotics.

For more information please call us at 802.770.1536.