Get Your Student The Pertussis Vaccine Early and Assure They Start School Without Delay
2011-07-25 · By Editor
The City’s Health Department is joining with the State of California’s Department of Public Health campaign to encourage parents to vaccinate middle and high school children against whooping cough or pertussis, early.
Due to epidemic levels of pertussis in the state last year, a new law was passed that requires all middle-high school students, in public and private schools, to have the pertussis booster vaccine, “Tdap” before starting school the 2011 school year this fall.
As of July 2011, the Long Beach Unified School District reported that 68% of students have already met this requirement.
Students who have yet to be vaccinated against petussis, should schedule an appointment for the Tdap vaccine as soon as possible. Students should also bring their immunization records to school when registering for classes in August as proof of the vaccine.
Long Beach City Health Officer, Dr. Helene Calvet, commends the Long Beach Unified School District on their efforts to document immunization records of more than 40,000 students. “School nurses have put in many hours and worked closely with the City’s Department of Health and Human Services since the new requirement was announced last year. Parents who still need to get their children immunized can get the Tdap vaccine through their doctor’s offices and many local pharmacies, so don’t wait until the last minute, when appointments may not be available” says Dr. Calvet.
Students who do not have health insurance or a regular source of health care, may receive the Tdap vaccine at the Long Beach Health Department. To schedule an appointment for the Tdap vaccine, or other vaccines, parents may call the Long Beach Health and Human Services Department at 562-570-4315.
More information on the Tdap vaccine can be found at www.shotsforschool.org. This website provides resources for parents of teenagers who have experienced petussis, or whooping cough, in the past year. More than 9,000 cases of whooping cough were reported in California in 2010, including 10 infant deaths. More than 1,900 cases of whooping cough have already been reported in 2011.
Most cases of whooping cough occur between May and November and the start of school year often brings additional cases. The first series of shots before kindergarten is not enough to protect children from various illnesses throughout the many years of schooling. Students who have not already been vaccinated against petussis, or whooping cough, will benefit by getting the Tdap vaccine as soon as possible. Being vaccinated and having proof of the vaccination will make school registration easier and protect children from various illnesses. “The Tdap booster both protects the individual and helps decrease the spread of what we know can be a deadly disease”, concluded Dr. Calvet.
For further information on how to protect children from pertussis, please visit the City of Long Beach’s Health and Human Services website at www.longbeach.gov/health.