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Whooping Cough Information
Whooping Cough Booster Shot Required!
- Provide proof of immunization record to your school as soon as possible and no later than at your school’s registration. Your child will need to provide proof of immunization in order to start school.
- Save your proof of immunization. If you do not provide the immunization record before the end of this school year, be sure to keep the written proof of your child’s Tdap booster shot in a safe place since it needs to be provided when school offices reopen in August 2011.
- Exemptions from this requirement. Exemptions follow State guidelines and are limited to personal beliefs or medical exemptions signed by the physician.
California Department of Public Health, Immunization Branch
What Parents Need to Know - Frequently Asked Questions
What is the new Tdap requirement for 7th – 12th graders?
- All students entering into 7th grade only will need proof of a Tdap shot to start school.
Tdap is a booster vaccine for older children, adolescents, and adults. It safely protects against 3 dangerous diseases: tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough (also called pertussis).
This new requirement will help protect your child and others in your school and community from whooping cough. Whooping cough is a serious disease that causes coughing fits that can last for months. It can be deadly for infants. In recent years, whooping cough has been increasing in the United States. In 2010, whooping cough was widespread in California.
- Tetanus– (also called lockjaw) causes painful tightening of the muscles. It can lead to “locking” of the jaw so the person cannot open his/her mouth or swallow.
- Diphtheria– is a throat infection that can lead to breathing problems, paralysis, heart failure and death.
- Whooping cough– (also called pertussis) is a contagious disease that causes violent coughing fits that make it hard to breathe. It spreads easily when someone with the disease coughs or sneezes. Symptoms can last for months. Whooping cough is very dangerous for young babies.
NOW. A large number of students need a Tdap shot before the start of school next year. Avoid the rush and make sure your child can start school on time. Make an appointment for your incoming 7th – 12th grader to get a Tdap booster shot now.
Your child will still need a Tdap booster shot. Immunity developed after having whooping cough disease wears off, leaving your child at risk for getting whooping cough again. A Tdap booster shot is needed to both protect your child in the future and to meet the school requirement.
In addition to it being a new requirement for starting school, children who get a Tdap booster shot will be better protected during their school years. Immunization also helps to protect others within the home, in the community, and at school.
Children should visit their regular doctor or health care provider to get their Tdap shot. Children 18 years old and younger who are uninsured or underinsured may qualify for the Vaccines for Children Program. To find a provider near you, call 1-877-243-8832 or visit: www.eziz.org/pages/vfc_locations2.html. Some local pharmacies and Health Departments may also offer the Tdap vaccine.
He/She may not start school. Any student who does not have proof of getting a Tdap booster shot will not be allowed to start school until proof of immunization is given to the school.
Exemptions follow State guidelines and are limited to personal beliefs or medical exemptions signed by a physician.
Your child will be considered to have met the new school requirement with proof of getting a dose of Tdap on or after their 7th birthday. However, we recommend that children receive Tdap on or after their 10th birthday to provide better protection throughout their adolescent years.
Pre-teens and teens are also recommended to receive vaccines against meningococcal disease (brain or blood infection), flu (influenza), HPV (human papillomavirus, a cause of cervical cancer), and any vaccine they may have missed during childhood. The recommended vaccine schedule may be found at www.getimmunized.ca.gov. Talk with your healthcare provider for more information.
All persons 10 years and older are recommended to be vaccinated with Tdap now if they haven’t done so to protect them against the ongoing threat of pertussis. Immunization also helps to protect close contacts, including young infants for whom pertussis is most severe and sometimes fatal.
For more information, visit the California Department of Public Health, Immunization Branch website at www.getimmunizedca.org.