Public Health Information
Whooping Cough (Pertussis)
Under a new California law that takes effect in July 2011, all California middle and high school students must be vaccinated against pertussis (whooping cough) for this upcoming 2011-2012 school year. Beginning July 1, 2011, all students entering into 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grades will be required to show proof of a 'Tdap' booster shot before starting school. This requirement applies to all public and private schools.
Pertussis (whooping cough) is a bacterial infection that can cause serious coughing fits that make it hard to breathe. Whooping cough is a serious disease that mostly affects babies under 1 year of age who are too young to be fully vaccinated. Each year hundreds of babies are hospitalized for whooping cough and some die. Parents should know that the protection from childhood pertussis immunizations wear off and that adolescents and adults who have not had a booster shot for whooping cough can get the disease and then spread it to young babies who are most at risk. In order to protect young babies, it is important for older children and adults to get their Tdap booster shots.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) recommends that parents get their child vaccinated early to avoid the rush. All California parents who have students in middle and high school are encouraged to get their kids vaccinated well before the fall 2011 school year begins. There will be no grace period and the regulations will be strictly enforced. Parents should be aware that the protection from childhood immunizations of pertussis wears off, and adolescents may be at risk of catching and spreading whooping cough without a Tdap booster. Ask your child's pediatrician for the Tdap vaccine. Your child's school will be asking for your child's yellow immunization card as proof they have received the vaccine.
The Tdap immunization requirement has changed. New state legislation gives students 30 calendar days from the first day of school to meet this requirement. Students who do not have clearance on or before August 16 will be subject to the 30 calendar day conditional window. Deadline to meet the Tdap immunization requirement: September 16, 2011.
To learn more about the new immunization law, please visit the CA Dept. of Public Health website.
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H1N1 Influenza Virus Update and Resources
H1N1 Influenza Virus Information & ResourcesThe Santa Clara Public Health Department asks that the following health precautions be followed:
We invite you to explore many helpful resources listed on our web site, including the Home Care Guide: Providing Care At Home During Pandemic Flu. For parents looking for information on how to talk to children about the H1N1 Influenza Virus, refer to the information sheet developed by the National Association of School Psychologists.
Prevention and Minimizing the Spread of the H1N1 Influenza Virus
To prevent and minimize the spread of the H1N1 Influenza Virus:
Information on the H1N1 Influenza Virus also is available by calling the Santa Clara County Public Health Information Line at (408) 885-3980.
H1N1 Influenza Virus Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)