LOS ANGELES (AP) — Health officials are urging seniors to get a whooping cough vaccine because of California’s pertussis outbreak, but some elderly patients say doctors won’t inoculate them because the vaccine is only licensed for people up to age 64.

Dr. David Baron, Chief of Staff at Santa Monica/UCLA Medical Center, Talks To KNX 1070

California’s whooping cough outbreak has infected nearly 6,000 people and killed 10 infants.

State and federal health officials are urging people 65 and older get the Tdap vaccination, which was licensed in 2005 for use in adolescents and adults up to age 64 in 2005 by the Food and Drug Administration.

That limit is now outdated.

FDA spokeswoman Shelly Burgess tells the Los Angeles Times that the age limit was set because there weren’t enough seniors included in a clinical study, not because the Tdap shot is unsafe for the elderly.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  1. Laurie Harris says:

    I am 79 years old and contracted pertussis this summer and went through a living hell for a full month and have had lingering throat problems ever since. The cough is a strangling kind and the first few episodes I thought that I was dying. I was not diagnosd immediately which delayed my getting the proper medication. I encourage everyone to get the shot.

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