SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CA—It has become a little easier for Santa Clara County parents to fulfill the requirement that their children receive the pertussis (whooping cough) booster vaccine. The Santa Clara County Public Health Department is now offering low cost and free daytime clinics.
A new California state law, effective July 1, 2011, requires that all students who are entering 7th-12th grades receive the Tdap vaccine booster. All students MUST show their school proof that they received the vaccination for their upcoming 2011-2012 school year. *
Please see the Public Health Department’s website for information on low- cost Tdap shots that are currently being offered every day at the Public Health Department.
A parent or legal guardian must accompany a child to sign paperwork in order to get a shot at any one of the clinics.
The new law requiring the booster shot is in response to the ongoing threat of whooping cough in California, and also nationwide. As of June 2011, the California Department of Public Health has seen 1,428 cases of pertussis cases, with onset this year. Santa Clara County saw 452 confirmed, probable, and suspect cases in 2010, and 139 so far in 2011. These numbers are still high compared to non-peak years.
Pertussis (whooping cough) is a bacterial infection that can cause serious coughing fits that make it hard to breathe. Parents should know that the protection wears off from childhood pertussis immunizations, and that adolescents and adults who have not had a Tdap booster can get the disease and then spread it to young babies who are most at risk of serious illness and even death.
The Tdap booster safely protects against 3 dangerous diseases: tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough) and is a one-time booster shot.
This new requirement applies to all public and private schools. To comply with the law and ensure that whooping cough does not spread in our community, parents are encouraged to take these two important steps:
- Check your child’s immunization record. If your teen hasn’t had a Tdap booster anytime on or after their 7th birthday, get your teen vaccinated as soon as possible. Make an appointment with your teen’s regular health care provider for a Tdap booster, other vaccinations and a complete teen health check up.
- Provide your child’s school with the documentation that shows your child has received the booster. The Tdap booster will not count if your child’s school doesn’t have a record!
For more general information, visit www.shotsforschool.org.
* Despite the new state law that allows schools a 30-day grace period, parents are strongly encouraged to have their children vaccinated as soon as possible to ensure students will not be denied access to school.
Media Contact: Amy Cornell, Santa Clara County Public Health Department
Health Information Officer, (408) 792-5155, Amy.Cornell@phd.sccgov.org
Posted: July 28, 2011