Vaccines Now Required for 7th-12th Grade Student

Beginning July 1, 2011, all students entering grades 7-12 must provide proof of having immunization against whooping cough (Tdap) before starting school. In light of California’s recent whooping cough (also known as pertussis) epidemic, there is no reason to wait for the new school year. Health professionals encourage parents to have their children vaccinated with the whooping cough booster shot, Tdap, now in order to protect them against whooping cough and to meet the 2011-12 school requirements. “It’s important that preteens and teens see their doctor and get immunized to meet the new immunization requirement and stay healthy,” said Dr. Takashi Wada, County Health Officer and Director of Public “Immunity received from childhood vaccines can wane over-time, exposing a child to serious diseases that could easily spread, leading to missed weeks of school or worse. Several vaccines are recommended for preteens and teens including meningococcal vaccine, asecond chickenpox shot (if they never had chickenpox disease), and the HPV vaccine series. Also everyone older than 6 months old is recommended to receive a seasonal flu vaccine. To highlight the importance of adolescent immunizations, the State of California has designated February 13-19, 2011 as Preteen Vaccine Week in California.“Protecting the health of California’s youth is one of our most urgent priorities,” said Dr. Wada “Preteen Vaccine Week is part of our commitment to ensuring our kids receive all the benefits immunizations can provide.” If a child does not have health insurance, or is only partially insured, the doctor or your local health department can provide information about the Vaccines for Children Program which provides no- or low-cost vaccines. For more information, please visit or call the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department Immunization Program at (805) 346-8420

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