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A new law changing California immunization requirements for students entering 7th – 12th grades was passed 9.29.10. This is in response to the current Pertussis (whooping cough) epidemic in California.

The new law requires that for the 2011 – 2012 school year all students entering or advancing into the 7th – 12th grade MUST provide proof of having received a Pertussis containing vaccine on or after their 7th birthday. Tdap is a booster vaccine for older children, adolescents and adults. It safely protects against 3 dangerous diseases: tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough.

Vaccines meeting this requirement include Tdap, Dtap, DTP, Adacel or Boostrix given on or after the 7th birthday.

Plan ahead to have your student receive this vaccine. If it has already been given, please provide official documentation. You must present proof of immunization at the 2011-2012 registration. The Health office will not look up immunizations for individual students. Any student who does not have proof of a Pertussis containing vaccine will not be allow to start school until proof of immunization is given to the school.

By law, students who do not have proof of receiving a Tdap booster shot will not be able to start school until proof is provided to the school. (The tetanus-diphtheria booster shot, Td, will not meet the requirement

There can be a medical basis for exemption, which requires a letter from a doctor, or a personal beliefs basis for which the parent can sign off. It is a good practice to always inform the parent that, in signing the PBE form, they are subjecting themselves and student to a 21-day exclusion from school should a case of Pertussis is discovered. It is for their own protection and is enforceable by law. It is the parents’ right to exempt from a vaccine even if they haven’t exempted from others.

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