No Shot No School

From our local state senator:

Dear Neighbor:

There is a new rule for school! With the beginning of this new school year, many parents and guardians are unaware of important changes in state immunization requirements. All California students entering 7th through 12th grades this year must be immunized with a pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine booster called Tdap. The new state law, which became effective July 1, 2011, applies to all students – current, new, and transfers – in public and private schools. The law has two phases:

  • For the 2011-2012 school year, all students entering into 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th or 12th grades will need proof of a Tdap vaccine booster shot for school.
  • For 2012-2013 and future school years, all students entering into 7th grade will need proof of a Tdap vaccine booster shot for school.

It is estimated that more than one million students in California have not complied with the Tdap vaccine booster shot requirement. Because school districts are concerned that they would be forced to turn students away for noncompliance, the Legislature passed emergency legislation to allow for a 30-day extension beyond the first day of the school year to verify that a student has been vaccinated. This option for conditional attendance will assist schools that need additional time to gather records on their students, or for student to receive their Tdap vaccination.

To exercise this option, the county office of education or school district must work with the pupil’s parent or guardian so that the pupil receives the Tdap booster vaccination. Students will face exclusion from classes if they do not meet the vaccine requirement by their school’s deadline. Check with your child’s school to find out more information.

Children should visit their regular doctor or health care provider to get their Tdap vaccine booster shot and other immunizations as soon as possible to avoid the back-to-school rush. If you do not have a regular doctor or health insurance, the Tdap booster vaccine and other immunizations are available at all county public health clinics throughout California for approximately $10. For more information, please contact your local health department or check out the Tdap Vaccine Availability by County list.

In San Bernardino County: Call the County Public Health Department to make an appointment at one of the 7 sites in the county by calling (800) 722-4777.

In Los Angeles County: visit www.ph.lacounty.gov/ip/IZclinics/clinics.htm or dial 2-1-1 (the Los Angeles County Information Line) for a list of no cost and low cost providers near you.

The Vaccines for Children Program (VFC) offers free or low cost vaccines for eligible patients 18 years and younger. If your child/student is eligible for Medi-Cal, you can find a VFC provider near you by visiting http://shotsforschool.org/parentinfo.html#vfc_locations or calling 1-877-243-8832.

For the uninsured or underinsured, parents can find a list of federally qualified health centers in their area at http://www.oshpd.ca.gov/RHPC/Clinics/FQHCS.html. Some local health departments and pharmacies may also offer the Tdap booster vaccine and other immunizations.

Resources and Information about Immunizations and the Whooping Cough Vaccine

California School Immunization Information: http://www.shotsforschool.org/

California Immunization Registry: http://cairweb.org/

California Department of Public Health: http://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/immunize/

San Bernardino County Department of Public Health: http://www.sbcounty.gov/pubhlth/whooping_cough.htm

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/acd/Diseases/Pertussis.htm

For more information please contact the office of Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod at (909) 621-2783.

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