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Law Requires LEUSD Parents Get Kids Vaccinated Against Whooping Cough

LEUSD students entering grades seven through 12 this fall are required to be immunized with a pertussis vaccine booster called Tetanus Toxoid, Reduced Diphtheria Toxoid and Acellular Pertussis (Tdap).

If the new school year were to begin today, only about one in five middle and high school students in Riverside County would be allowed to attend classes because they lack the proper vaccination against whooping cough, according to an informal survey conducted by county school and health officials.

As of January 7, there were more than 8,300 cases of pertussis (whooping cough) with onset in 2010 reported statewide to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH)—the most reported since 1947, said Mark B. Horton, director of the California Department of Public Health, in a news release.

Assembly Bill 354 was signed into law in September 2010. As a result, students entering or advancing to grades seven through 12 in the 2011–12 school year are required to be immunized with a pertussis vaccine booster called Tetanus Toxoid, Reduced Diphtheria Toxoid and Acellular Pertussis (Tdap).

As early childhood immunization does not provide lasting immunity to pertussis, CDPH recommends a Tdap booster immunization for all persons 10 years of age and older, yet most people have not received the Tdap booster, Horton said.

Riverside County has about 228,120 students between seventh and 12th grades who will need to provide proof of immunization before starting school in the fall. This new requirement applies to all public and private schools.

The Riverside County Department of Public Health, in collaboration with the Riverside County Office of Education, have been working together to bring attention to the issue and get more students vaccinated before the new school year, said Jose Arballo Jr., spokesperson for the Riverside County Department of Public Health.

"According to an informal survey of county school districts, only about 20 percent of those responding reported that students have completed the Tdap immunization requirements for whooping cough. Some reported less than a 10 percent compliance rate," Arballo said.

The survey was released May 24.

Arballo said parents are being urged not to wait for the new school year to begin, since there will be no grace period. Under the new law, students will not be allowed to start school without proof of vaccination.

“With the school year coming to a close, it is a great time to remind parents and guardians about the new rule,” said Dr. Eric Frykman, health officer for Riverside County Community Health Agency. “This way parents can be prepared for the new school year.”

Lake Elsinore Unified School District continues to put out notifications and reminders to parents.

If parents are not sure if their child has had the booster shot, need to get proof, or need to get their child vaccinated, officials are urging a visit to a family doctor or, if they do not have insurance, to make an appointment at one of 10 public health family care centers in Riverside County.

Beginning in the 2012-2013 school year and beyond, this law will only affect incoming seventh-graders.

For more information about family health care center locations, visit Rivcoph.org/pertussis. For more information about how the new law affects you, visit ShotsforSchool.org.

Dr. Ashley DeBoer June 07, 2011 at 12:07 AM
Please be advised you can opt out of this vaccination see provided link http://www.vaclib.org/exempt/california.htm. Even if they say it is mandatory, please education yourself!
Denise Woolsey June 07, 2011 at 01:51 AM
I would think the district would let the parents know this information on vaccine waivers. This should be noted, right along with the notice they receive to vaccinate the student. Thanks Dr. DeBoer for pointing it out and posting the web page.
Diana June 07, 2011 at 08:40 PM
All students should be vaccinated and I mean ALL, every year their are new epidemics/diseases that are brought into our country by people and their kids from other countries that have never had medical attention, it is not fair to those children that attend schools that parents have made sure that they had the proper vaccinations.
Lorena June 07, 2011 at 08:54 PM
All children and adults should be vaccinated. My two daughters and I have recently been diagnosed with Pertussis, and it is the scariest cough that I have ever experienced. As a mother, it is very difficult to see both my 12 year old daughter and my 2 year old baby get uncontrollable cough spells that lead to vomiting and then to them gasping for air. They turn purple, and their eyes pop out from the lack of oxygen. It truly is the scariest sickness that we have experiences as a family. No parent wants to see their child go through this, therefore...please vaccinate them!!!
Dr. Ashley DeBoer June 07, 2011 at 09:59 PM
You should not be afraid of the unvaccinated population if your children are vaccination. All parents have a choice to vaccinate or not vaccinate.
Denise Woolsey June 08, 2011 at 02:47 AM
Parents should always have the CHOICE to vaccinate or not. I am not totally against vaccinations, but they need to be spaced out, especially with infants. Children are given 35 vaccines before they even start school these days. Their body's immune system sometimes can not take all of these shots in such a short time frame. The older kids are at risk also, if their immune system is not what it should be. Just be careful when gettig vaccinations (Everyone). Are the parents aware that this vaccination is a 3-1 combo?. It isn't just for "whooping cough". Always ask the doctor to see the vile and make sure what you are actually getting. The CDC is just a lttle crazy with all the vaccines now a days and the Drug Companies make lots of money off of them. Are the parents also aware that the students are required to get this vaccine, but are no longer required TB tests be done? I would think TB would be a big concern with people coming from another country. Just want parents to be more aware and know your rights as parents. Last time I checked, this was still AMERICA and we still had freedom of CHOICE. (Thank Goodness). That is why there are waivers.
RB June 08, 2011 at 06:11 AM
I must respectfully disagree with some you. When I was in high school, a couple of fellow students came down with measles. They had not been vaccinated at all in their lives. The students who shared classes with the students were encouraged to get a booster vaccination if they hadn't been vaccinated in a long while. Some vaccinations are not permanent so unvaccinated people can still pass on contagious diseases to people who had been vaccinated when they were young. These diseases can cause some major damage to kids including death and sterility. If parents have a problem with the amount of vaccines given to a child, they talk to the pediatrician to set up a modified schedule. Parents have a responsibility to take care of their children and prevent their kids from contracting these easily preventable diseases.
Brian June 08, 2011 at 08:30 AM
Why didn't you vaccinate your kids for pertussis, Lorena? Oh wait, I bet you did. If you want to make it better, research sodium ascorbate. That's what the non-vaccinating parents know to use when their children get pertussis.
Robert Hartford June 08, 2011 at 09:18 PM
Where can i get my 3 and 5 year olds vacinated against a microwave emitting cell tower planned for Tuscany Hills Elementary School?

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