State officials require Tdap vaccine for students

State officials require Tdap vaccine for students

This year, another item is on all California students’ back to school lists – the Tdap.

As a result of a law that went into effect on July 1, 2011, students entering grades seven through 12 will be required to have been vaccinated against pertussis prior to the first day of school.

According to the Department of Public Health for Los Angeles County’s website, the vaccine is meant to stop the spread of pertussis, which is a bacterial infection in the respiratory tract that leads to a whooping cough.

“This requirement will protect California’s adolescents and their families from pertussis and provide a chance for adolescents to get caught up with all recommended vaccinations,” the website states.

Parents may request their child be exempt from the vaccine, but health officials warn those who have not been vaccinated are at higher risk of infection.

Beginning with the 2012-2013 school year, students must receive the Tdap vaccine before entering seventh grade.

Ask your family doctor for the vaccine, or call 1-800-427-8700 to find out more about the Department of Public Health’s free vaccine clinics.


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