March is Tdap Awareness Month

LOS ANGELES (March 9, 2017) – L.A. Unfied is reminding parents and guardians that it’s time to bring their sixth-grade child’s immunization record to school before entering, advancing or transferring into seventh-grade next year. State law requires all children to have evidence of Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis (Tdap) immunization, which protects against whooping cough (also known as pertussis). District Health Clinics are open to give free vaccinations to eligible children.

On June 30, 2015,
Senate Bill 277 (SB 277) was signed into law. SB 277 removes the Personal Belief Exemption (PBE) option and allows exemptions from school immunization requirements only for medical reasons. SB 277 applies to students first admitted to school, child care, or entering seventh grade starting in 2016. Therefore, students entering the 7th grade must have ALL required immunizations including a Tdap booster immunization prior to the first day of school.  This school immunization law affects all students in public and private schools.

Students who have not received the Tdap vaccine will not be able to attend seventh grade in 2017-18.

Whooping cough is a very contagious respiratory disease that can be severe and last for months. The immunity received from either early childhood immunization or pertussis disease wears off over time, leaving older students and adults susceptible to the illness. A Tdap immunization can protect students, schools and communities against the disease.

The Tdap immunization, which is a state mandate for public and private schools, is recommended for children over the age of 10. All students entering or advancing to the seventh- grade will need a Tdap immunization in order to attend the first day of the new school year.  Click here to read more information regarding whooping cough (pertussis) and the Tdap immunization. To see a list of free or low cost clinics in Los Angeles County, click here.

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Contact: Ellen Morgan (213) 241-6766