- Created on Monday, 30 July 2012 09:02
- Written by CDPH
Imperial, California - As students head back-to-school, California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Director and State Health Officer Dr. Ron Chapman, urges parents to ensure their 11- and 12-year-old children have been immunized against pertussis, also known as whooping cough, and other dangerous diseases to keep them healthy during the new school year.
In 2010, more than 9,000 pertussis cases were reported in California, including 10 infant fatalities, the most in over 60 years.
“Immunizations create a shield at school and home,” said Dr. Chapman. “Given recent outbreaks and epidemics nationwide, it is important that children be protected against these dangerous and highly contagious diseases, like whooping cough.”
In 2010, a new law was signed by Governor Brown requiring a whooping cough booster before middle and high school students can re-enter school. All incoming seventh graders must provide proof that they have met the Tdap requirement before starting school.
“I encourage parents to check-in with their medical provider now to make sure that their kids are caught up on immunizations and can start school on time,” added Dr. Chapman.
If a child does not have health insurance, or is only partially insured, a doctor or local health department can provide information about the Vaccines for Children Program, which provides free or low-cost vaccines.
Local health departments are offering expanded immunization clinics during the month of August, National Immunization Awareness Month. For the most complete and up-to-date information on required vaccinations, visit shotsforschool.org.