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Press release from Business Wire

Whooping Cough Vaccine Available at Safeway, Vons and Pavilions to Combat Statewide Outbreak

<p class=' bwalignc'> <b>New State Law Requires Whooping Cough Booster Shot for Middle School Children</b> </p>

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Whooping Cough Vaccine Available at Safeway, Vons and Pavilions to Combat Statewide Outbreak13:00 EDT Wednesday, October 13, 2010 PLEASANTON, Calif. (Business Wire) -- Safeway pharmacies in California are responding to the state's whooping cough (pertussis) emergency and are now offering Adacel, a booster vaccine for people ages 11 through 64. The Adacel vaccine is available at all Safeway, Vons and Pavilions pharmacies on a walk-in basis. California's incidences of whooping cough have reached a 60-year high, with more than 5,200 confirmed, suspected and possible cases this year, according to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). Because of the sudden increase, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger recently signed a bill requiring seventh-through-12th-grade students to get awhooping coughbooster shot before the start of the next school year. Adults should also consider receiving a whooping cough booster shot, especially if they are in frequent contact with infants. While many infants receive the vaccine as part of their normal well-baby visits, the first dose is only given at 2 months of age, leaving newborns particularly vulnerable to whooping cough. In an attempt to protect those most at risk of serious illness and death, the CDPH is encouraging adolescents and any adult who may have contact with infants (parents, grandparents, health care and child care providers) to also consider a booster shot. Shots received as an infant typically wear off by the time a child reaches middle school. Neither vaccination nor illness from pertussis provides lifetime immunity. Whooping cough is a highly contagious bacterial illness spread by coughs and sneezes. People who have contracted whooping cough have severe coughing attacks. A typical case starts with a cough and runny nose for one to two weeks, followed by weeks of rapid coughing fits that sometimes end with a “whooping” sound. A growing number of insurance plans cover the whooping cough booster vaccine, decreasing or eliminating out-of-pocket costs, as well as eliminating the cost of a doctor's office visit. More information on Adacel and the specific pharmacy locations in California can be found at www.safeway.com, which also lists pharmacy locations for Vons and Pavilions stores. About Safeway www.Safeway.com Safeway Inc. is a Fortune 100 company and one of the largest food and drug retailers in North America, based on sales. The company operates 1,712 stores in the United States and western Canada and had annual sales of $40.8 billion in 2009. The company's common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SWY. Safeway supports a broad range of charitable and community programs and in 2009 donated more than $250 million to important causes, such as cancer research, education and hunger relief.