Whooping cough (pertussis) has been widespread in California since 2010. The California Department of Public Health recommends that all Californians 10 years and older receive a booster shot against pertussis. Beginning July 1, 2011, as outlined in AB 354, California law requires students to be immunized against pertussis. The required vaccine is referred to as Tdap.
“It’s important that incoming 7th – 12th graders see their doctor and get immunized,” Vicki Engbrecht, Assistant Superintendent of Education Services, said. “Getting Tdap now will not only meet the new school requirement, but it will also protect our children from the constant threat of pertussis.
This new school requirement applies to all public and private schools. We are urging parents to not wait for the new fall school year. Students will be required to provide proof of Tdap booster shot prior to or during registration.
Whooping cough is a highly contagious bacterial infection of the respiratory system that can cause episodes of severe coughing. Children are routinely vaccinated against pertussis; however, immunity wanes ~5 to 10 years after the last vaccination, leaving adolescents vulnerable to infection. It is spread by airborne droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
The health of our students is important to us. We want our students to be in optimum health for learning and to be in attendance daily. Please submit completed form to your school registrar prior to the fall 2011 semester.
Some children may qualify for free immunizations through the Vaccines for Children Program. If insured, please check with your local doctor or clinic for an appointment for this vaccine.
More information is available on the Hart District Health Services page.
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