Whooping Cough Booster Shot Required for 7th Graders

A California law requires that all students entering 7th grade be immunized against pertussis (whooping cough) and to show proof of immunization before starting school.  
This requirement:
  • Will be met by receiving one dose of a Tdap vaccine on or after the child’s 7th birthday
  • Must be documented in the child’s immunization records
  • Applies to both public and private schools
  • Affects all students unless the student has a medical or personal belief exemption.
After July 1, 2012, only students entering the 7th grade will need proof that they have received a Tdap booster shot on or after their 7th birthday.
If you are a parent:
  • Make an appointment for your incoming 7th grader to get a Tdap shot now. The new law affects a large number of schoolchildren across six grade levels. Avoid the rush and make sure your child can start school on time.
  • If your child has already received this vaccine, make sure you have a record of it that you can take to your child’s school when requested. 
If you are a doctor:
  • Make sure all children and adolescents in your care receive a Tdap booster and that this information is clearly documented in the child’s California Immunization Record (“yellow card.”)
The law comes in response to a significant increase in reported cases of whooping cough in California. This highly-contagious disease is especially dangerous to infants.  In 2010, nine babies died from whooping cough in California.
Facts About Pertussis
Save yourself some time by reading and signing these forms before visiting your healthcare provider or clinic.

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