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Whooping Cough Immunizations Required for Students in 7th-12th Grades

County Public Health Department offering four free vaccine clinics in August

Beginning July 1, all students entering grades 7 to 12 must provide proof they are immunized against whooping cough (Tdap) before starting school.

Parents are urged to get children their Tdap boosters at their doctor’s office. The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department will be holding four free Tdap clinics for families who are uninsured or who have not been able to get the Tdap vaccine at their child’s health-care provider.

In light of California’s recent whooping cough (also known as pertussis) epidemic, health professionals encourage parents to have their children vaccinated with the whooping cough booster shot 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 health. “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 work.”

The Public Health Department has a limited supply of vaccine for Tdap clinics. Tdap clinics for students entering grades 7 to 12 are scheduled as follows:

» Aug. 2, 1 to 4 p.m., Carpinteria Veteran’s Hall, Main Hall, 5775 Carpinteria Ave.

» Aug. 6, 9 a.m. to noon, Santa Maria Health Care Center, Room 201, 2115 S. Centerpointe Pkwy.

» Aug. 9, 1 to 4 p.m., Lompoc Health Care Center, Door B, 301 North R St.

» Aug. 11, 1 to 4 p.m., Franklin Community Center, Main Hall, 1136 E. Montecito St.

All students need to bring their immunization record and must be accompanied by a parent/guardian.

For more information, click here or call the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department Immunization Program at 805.346.8420.

— Susan Klein-Rothschild is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department.

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