All students entering 7th grade will be required to show proof that they received a pertussis booster (Tdap) shot before entry into the 2012-2013 school year. To meet the requirement, adolescents must have received a Tdap shot on or after their 7th birthday even if they have had pertussis. This is because a person who has had pertussis can get the disease again.
Whooping cough (pertussis) has been widespread in California since 2010. The California Department of Public Health recommends that all Californians 7 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 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. 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. If you prefer you child not be immunized for verified medical conditions or personal beliefs, please visit your school for the exemption form. Please complete the completed form to your school registrar prior to the Fall 2012 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's Health Services page: http://hartdistrict.org/index.php/departments/health-services
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
Gail Pinsker - Community Liaison Officer - 661.259.0033 Ext. 227