To help parents meet this new requirement, the County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA), working with the County Office of Education and school districts, is organizing additional vaccination clinics to immunize all middle and high school students before the new school year starts in about two weeks.
"The clinics are a great opportunity for parents to vaccinate their children so that they can start school on time," said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County Public Health Officer. "The booster shot will help protect students from contracting pertussis andavoid infecting their classmates or younger siblings at home."
AB 354 went into effect July 1and requires all students in grades 7-12 -- in public and private schools -- to show proof of having received the pertussis booster shot, or Tdap, in order to enroll in school.
The new law impacted about230,000 local students; more than half had not received the vaccine when schools districts increased their efforts to identity those that have not received the booster shot.
In the past three months, school officials have been able to obtain Tdap proof or vaccinate an additional 70,000 students. However, there are still an estimated 40,000 middle and high school students that need to be vaccinated or show proof they’ve received the vaccine; 21,000 of those attend school in the San Diego Unified School District.
"Schools are committed to doing everything they can to protect the safety and well being of all students," said San Diego Unified Superintendent Bill Kowba. "While parents will have up to 30 days to meet the Tdap requirement once classes begin, we recommend they vaccinate their children now to avoid any class disruptions."
In addition to the special clinics organized by HHSA, parents can also get the vaccine from their primarycare physician, community clinic or retail pharmacy. Those with no medical coverage can vaccinate their children at one of the County’s seven public health centers.
"Doctors' appointments are filling up fast," added Wooten. "We encourage parents to vaccinate their children now to avoid long lines and wait times."
AB 354 was passed as a result of last year’s pertussis epidemic, which established new records of whooping cough cases across the state, including San Diego County where 1,144 cases were reported. This year, 326 pertussis cases have been reported to date.
Pertussis is a highly contagious disease that can spread quickly and can be deadly. In 2010, two local infants died from complications from the disease.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children get one dose of DTaP vaccine at the following ages: 2 months; 4 months; 6 months; 15 to 18 months; and 4 to 6 years. The Tdap booster shot is recommended for adolescents, age 11 to 18years, preferably administered at age 11 to 12 years.
A typical case of pertussis in children and adults starts with a cough and runny nose for one to two weeks,followed by weeks to months of rapid coughing fits that sometimes end with a whooping sound. Fever, if present, is usually mild. The disease is treatablewith antibiotics.
For more information about Tdapor the vaccination clinics, visit www.sdiz.org or call 2-1-1.
|Monday, August 22, 2011||8 a.m. to 12 p.m.||Cajon Valley Middle School||550 E. Park Ave., El Cajon, CA 92020|
|Monday, August 22, 2011||8 a.m. to 3 p.m.||Potter Junior High School||1743 Reche Rd., Fallbrook, CA 92028|
|Tuesday, August 23, 2011||8 a.m. to 3 p.m.||Potter Junior High School||1743 Reche Rd., Fallbrook, CA 92028|
|Tuesday, August 23, 2011||8 a.m. to 3 p.m.||South Region Public Health Center||690 Oxford St., Chula Vista, CA 91911|
|Wednesday, August 24, 2011||2-6 p.m.||Ramona Library||1275 Main St., Ramona, CA 92065|
|Friday, August 26, 2011||1-5 p.m.||Santee School District||9613 CuyamacaSt., Santee, CA 92071|
|Friday, August 26, 2011||8 a.m. to 1 p.m.||Mission Bay High School||2475 Grand Ave., San Diego, CA 92109|
|Friday, August 26, 2011||9 a.m. to 4 p.m.||North Central Public Health Center||5055 Ruffin Rd., San Diego, CA 92123|
|Monday, August 29, 2011||8 a.m. to 1 p.m.||Mission Bay High School||2475 Grand Ave. San Diego, CA 92109|
|Monday, August 29, 2011||9 a.m. to 4 p.m.||North Central Public Health Center||5055 Ruffin Rd., San Diego, CA 92123|
|Tuesday, August 30, 2011||8 a.m. to 3 p.m.||South Region Public Health Center||690 Oxford St., Chula Vista, CA 91911|
|Tuesday, August 30, 2011||8 a.m. to 1 p.m.||Mission Bay High School||2475 Grand Ave., San Diego, CA 92109|
|Tuesday, August 30, 2011||9 a.m. to 4 p.m.||North Central Public Health Center||5055 Ruffin Rd., San Diego, CA 92123|
|Wednesday, August 31, 2011||1-6 p.m.||North Inland Regional Center||600 E. Valley Parkway, Escondido, CA 92025|
|Friday, September 2, 2011||9 a.m. to 4 p.m.||Monte Vista High School||3230 Sweetwater Springs Blvd., Spring Valley,|