Back-to-School To-Do List: Shots

Incoming seventh graders need to get a booster immunization to prevent whooping cough.

If you have a child entering seventh grade this year, he will need proof of an adolescent whooping cough booster immunization for school in the fall.

The , signed into law in 2010, comes after California experienced its worst outbreak of pertussis, aka whooping cough, in more than 50 years, with more than 9,000 confirmed cases and 10 infant deaths, according to a press release.

The new immunization requirement is intended to help reduce the spread of whooping cough among California's youth.

Most children are fully protected prior to entering kindergarten because of the Tdap vaccine, made for younger children. Tdap safely protects against three dangerous diseases: tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis, according to the OC Health Agency website.

However, protection to these diseases wears off and preteens and teens may be at risk for catching this dangerous disease without a booster.

The Tdap requirement affects all incoming seventh-grade students in California.

The OC Health Agency offers the following information about where to get the booster:

Tdap vaccine is widely available throughout Orange County. Contact your doctor or clinic to arrange for a Tdap booster.

If your doctor does not have the vaccine, your insurance does not cover the vaccine, or you do not have insurance your child can get a free Tdap booster from:

  • The Health Care Agency Immunization Clinic
    The clinic is located at 1725 W. 17th Street, Santa Ana.

To learn more about vaccines, contact your medical provider or visit Shots for School.


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