Clay County Health Department: Free Tdap Vaccinations

Saturday, July 6, 2024
File Image

The Clay County Health Department is offering free Tdap Vaccines while supplies last.

“This immunization covers three different diseases with one shot,”Public Health Nurse Amy Shelton said about the importance of these vaccinations. “Many of us work outside, and get cuts which could lead to tetanus if not vaccinated. The most important reason for local residents to do this is they can protect themselves and everyone else at the same time.”

According to information by the United Department of Health and Human  Services, the three diseases include;

Tetanus (T), commonly known for causing “lockjaw,” is a bacteria that enters the body through cuts and wounds. Tetanus causes painful muscle stiffening and tightening, which can lead to being unable to open the mouth ( “lockjaw), difficulty swallowing, difficulty breathing, and death. Even with good medical care, 10-20% of people with tetanus die from tetanus ( NCBI, Tetanus, Diptheria, And Pertussis, 2023). This is why when you get an open cut or wound, healthcare workers ask when your last tetanus shot was.

Diptheria (D) is a bacterial infection in which a thin layer ( membrane ) can form over the back of the throat and airway, making it difficult to breathe. Without treatment, death is likely. Diptheria is spread from person to person, and with the use of vaccines, it has become uncommon in the United States and Canada, so it is important to get vaccinated.

Pertussis (P), also known as “Whooping Cough,” is a bacterial infection spread from person to person through droplets when they sneeze or cough. Pertussis can cause violent, uncontrollable coughing, which makes it hard to breathe, eat and drink. Pertussis is especially serious in babies and young children, causing pneumonia, brain damage, convulsions, and even death. This is why it is important for expectant mothers to get the Tdap vaccine early in the third trimester to protect the newborn from pertussis, as infants are the most at risk for severe, life-threatening complications from pertussis.


1 - The bacteria Clostridium tetani can enter the human body through a contaminated cut, wound, or burn, causing complications that can affect heart rate and blood pressure. While tetanus diagnosis is still possible today, the number of cases in the U.S. has decreased by 99% since 1947, thanks to vaccination, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

2—Another bacterial infection—this time caused by Corynebacterium diphtheria—can be spread through close contacts, including people who live at home with you or a caretaker. The infection hinders the respiratory system, impairing the ability to breathe and swallow. It can spread into the bloodstream, causing heart, nerve, and kidney damage, possibly leading to death.

3—Once called ‘whooping cough,’ pertussis spreads from person to person via the Bordetella pertussis bacteria. These bacteria harm the cilia in airways, the hair-like structures that clear debris and germs out of lung passages. NOTE: The airborne disease spreads easily due to coughs and sneezes and has been on the rise in the last few years.


Medical officials say Tdap is basically for everyone over the age of 7.

Adolescents should have received a single dose of Tdap at age 11 or 12.

Expectant Mothers should get a Tdap during the early part of the third trimester of every pregnancy, which helps protect the newborn from pertussis. As mentioned above, infants are at the highest risk for severe, life-threatening complications from pertussis.

Adults who have never received a Tdap should get a dose. Also, all adults need to get a Tdap booster every 10 years or every five years in the case of an open wound, such as a cut.

It’s a collective effort to protect our little ones. Anyone around and those taking care of a newborn baby, including Parents, Siblings, Grandparents, Babysitters, Nannies, and any other caregivers, should get vaccinated to create a safe environment for our newborns.

Note: Experts say people should consult their doctor about necessary vaccinations.


As noted by the Clay County Health Department, this vaccine is important for many reasons. While supplies last, you can get yours for FREE at the Clay County Health Department. 

Most insurance companies cover Tdap, so have your insurance information ready when you call to schedule vaccination appointments. 

If you have no insurance, there will be no cost. 

Call 812-448-9021 today, as supplies are limited.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: