The Franklin County Health Department will offer free Tdap immunizations for people 11 years old and older, including adults.

The event will be held July 29 and July 30 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the health department, 15 S. Oak St., Union.

The vaccine is for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough).

The immunization can protect adolescents and adults from tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. One dose of Tdap is routinely given at age 11 or 12. People who did not get Tdap at that age should get it as soon as possible.

Tdap is especially important for health care professionals and anyone having close contact with a baby younger than 12 months.

Pregnant women should get a dose of Tdap during every pregnancy to protect the newborn from pertussis.

People should bring a copy of their shot records, and pregnant women need a physician’s prescription. Prescription can be faxed to (636) 583-7305.

“In an effort to ensure Missourians are vaccinated against pertussis, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services is offering local health departments a one-time allotment of free vaccine,” said Franklin County Health Department Director Angie Hittson.

Tetanus causes painful muscle tightening and stiffness all over the body, sometimes so severe a person can’t even open their mouth, swallow or breathe. Tetanus kills about one out of every five people who are infected.

Diphtheria can cause a thick coating to form in the back of the throat that leads to breathing problems, paralysis, heart failure and death.

Pertussis is commonly known as whooping cough. It causes severe coughing spells that can lead to problems breathing, vomiting and difficulty sleeping. It can also lead to weight loss, incontinence, rib fractures, hospitalization, pneumonia, and death.

For more information, contact the Franklin County Health Department at (636) 583-7300.