- We are currently in the midst of a terrible pertussis (also known as whooping cough) epidemic. In California, more than 2,700 cases have been reported so far this yearÂ â€” eight times last year’s number at this time. And is on pace to be the worst breakout since 1958!
- There is a very effective vaccination for whooping cough and most of us received it when we were kids. But the vaccine wears off after a few years.
- Adults and adolescents often get pertussis without realizing it.
- Pertussis can occur at any age; however infants and young children, particularly those who are not immunized, are at the highest risk for severe disease and potentially life-threatening complications.
- Pertussis is spread through the air by infectious droplets and is highly contagious.
- Dragon*Con in Atlanta brings over 40,000 people together from around the world into one (relatively small) space in downtown Atlanta. Most of these people have not received their booster shots for pertussis.
- Superwoman Skepchick Elyse Anders is launching an education campaign about vaccinations called “Hug Me! I’m Vaccinated” because she is comprised entirely of awesome.
Put all these things together and what do you get? An idea.
As part of the Hug Me! I’m Vaccinated launch at Dragon*Con, the Skepchicks are organizing vaccine clinic during Dragon*Con. We are providing FREE vaccines for any Dragon*Con participants who want them. We’ll also be distributing information and education about vaccinations during the event.
Here’s where we need your help.Â While the vaccines and staffing are being provided completely free to us, because of the late notice, we needed to rent space to actually have the clinic.Â We are paying for space in the Mall at Peachtree Center, which is connected to the Dragon*Con main hotels and we need to raise some money to cover the rent, plus posters, pamphlets and other materials to help promote this. Our goal is to raise $1,500 which will cover all of that. Elyse and the Women Thinking Free Foundation have already raised $800 for the launch so we need $700 more. UPDATE: We have reached our goal – thanks so much! If you want to donate, you still can and all additional money will go toward the launch and more events for the Hug Me campaign!
Ironically, Elyse can’t come to Dragon*Con. She would have to bring her daughter with her and she can’t risk it because of the pertussis epidemic. So we’re going to be launching this project without her, very sadly.
Or visit the Women Thinking Free Store and donate there.
This is literally an effort that will save lives. And, if you’re at Dragon*Con, come by and get vaccinated!