In an attempt to keep students and their families safe, California recently passed a law requiring the additional vaccination.
Parents of students currently enrolled in sixth to eleventh grade should bring documentation of the Tdap immunization to their child’s current school office as soon as possible.
Students who have do not have proof of this booster shot on file with the school prior to the beginning of the school year will not be allowed to enter classes.
Students should contact their doctor to schedule an appointment sooner rather than later, because in August when thousands of students realize they are not allowed to begin school, medical offices are likely to be overrun by parents trying to get their children in.
At Mendocino Community Health Clinic, parents can make an appointment for their child's annual physical and the pertussis vaccination can be included as part of the visit.
Pertussis is a highly contagious respiratory disease that causes uncontrollable coughing which makes it hard to breathe. It can be severe and last for months. The immunity received from either early childhood immunization or pertussis disease wears off over time, leaving older students and adults susceptible again to pertussis.
Immunization with Tdap can protect students, schools and communities against pertussis.
For detailed information about immunization requirements, visit www.shotsforschool.org or call the school where the student is currently enrolled.