Demand for whooping cough vaccine up in Oklahoma

Published: July 20, 2012
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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma health officials say word of a possible whooping cough epidemic combined with a state law regarding vaccinations has sharply increased the demand for vaccinations against the highly contagious disease.

Beckham County Health Department director Karen Weaver said Friday that the department has provided 386 vaccinations during July — up from an average of 40 to 50.

The state is not seeing an increase in whooping cough — or pertussis — cases being reported in other states.

State Health Department Chief of Immunization Services Bobbie Nubine says there are 28 confirmed cases in 2012. That's down from 38 at this time last year.

Nubine says a 2011 state law requiring all public school 7th graders receive a booster shot against the disease and two others also increased vaccine demand.