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April 12, 2011 > Whooping Cough booster required for junior and high school students

Whooping Cough booster required for junior and high school students

Submitted By Maria Stokes

A new California law for the upcoming 2011-2012 school year requires that all students entering into grades 7-12 have proof of an adolescent whooping cough booster shot called Tdap before entering school. Information about pertussis and Tdap vaccinations in the Bay Area is available in more than 150 languages by simply dialing 211.

Tdap is a booster vaccine for older children, adolescents, and adults that safely protects against three dangerous diseases: tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough (also called pertussis). Whooping cough is a serious disease that causes coughing fits that can last for months. It can be deadly for infants. In recent years, whooping cough has increased in the U.S. and was widespread in California in 2010.

This new Tdap requirement is for current students, new students and transfer students in both private and public schools. Avoid the rush and make an appointment with your regular doctor or health care provider to get your child vaccinated. Once vaccinated, keep documentation of your child's Tdap booster shot in a safe place so your child can start school on time.

Your local 211 call center can answer many questions, such as:
Where can I get my child vaccinated?
What if I don't have insurance? Can my child still receive the Tdap booster?
What if my child doesn't have proof of a Tdap shot before school starts in the fall?

Residents who can't dial 211 can call (800) 273-6222 to reach the 211 call center in their area. For the hearing impaired, dial (415) 808-4440 (TTY) or 711.

About 211:
211 is a toll-free phone number that connects callers with local community services, such as food, shelter, counseling, employment assistance, quality child care and more. www.211BayArea.org.

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