Continued outbreaks of whooping cough across North Carolina have led state health officials to encourage residents of all ages to be immunized.
The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services says that because of high numbers of pertussis cases in Davidson, Forsyth and Rockingham counties, it's authorized the local health departments to provide vaccine at no charge to anyone, regardless of insurance status.
As of Aug. 14, state public health officials had tracked 326 cases of pertussis, including 50 cases in infants.
Acting State Health Director Robin Cummings reminds people that state law requires that kindergartners and all rising sixth graders be up to date on pertussis vaccination before going to school. Parents are also advised to check on immunizations for the whole family.