As families get ready for the school year to begin, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department reminds parents to get their children immunized.
The requirement for seventh-graders to get Tdap (to protect against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) is still new, but the county has seen cases of whooping cough dramatically decrease since it has been in place, according to public health officer Susan Klein-Rothschild.
All seventh-graders — in public and private schools — must have proof that they have received the Tdap booster shot unless they have a documented exemption, according to the California Department of Public Health.
Kindergarteners are required to be immunized against a wide range of diseases, including polio, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox and hepatitis B, Klein-Rothschild said.
“Immunization is such a wonderful thing” to help student and community health, she said.
Families can contact physicians, school nurses or the Public Health Department Immunization Program at 805.346.8420 for more information.
Parents can contact county health-care centers to learn more about immunization clinics, which serve low-income families and Medi-Cal patients, and some children may qualify for the Vaccines for Children Program. Click here for more information.
“Physicians and schools do an excellent job working with families to make sure children get the immunizations they need before they enter school,” county health officer Dr. Charity Thoman said in a news release.
“Making sure that children receive their immunizations is one of the most important things parents can do to ensure their children’s health ― as well as the health of friends, classmates and others in the community.”