Whooping cough shots: Time’s running out!

Staff Photojournalist

By Friday, all Oakland Unified students in grades 7 to 12 must show proof that their Tdap, or whooping cough, vaccinations are up to date — or be turned away from school, as required by a new state law.

Since the spring, nurses have given shots to thousands of kids who’ve provided parental consent forms, said Joanna Locke, director of health and wellness for the Oakland school district. This morning, the district set up a clinic on East Oakland’s Fremont high school campus (pictured above).

Still, as of Sept. 16, the district’s latest count, 14 percent of the students in those grades — about 2,000 — either still needed the shot or hadn’t provided the paperwork proving that they had gotten it.

If you know someone who needs help with this, they should call their doctor or the Immunization Assistance Project at (510) 267-3230. They can also visit http://www.acphd.org for a list of immunization clinics.

Katy Murphy

Education reporter for the Oakland Tribune. Contact me at kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.

  • Sue

    I’m not sure if the problem is with our specific school, Skyline, or if it’s district-wide.

    The problem: this morning we provided our son’s proof of vaccination for at least the third time. First, when he registered in early August. Second, a couple of weeks ago in response to a letter from the district – we’ve heard this letter was sent to *every* student in the district regardless of their vaccination status and documentation.

    This morning, the school office staff promised (again) that the document would be turned in to the nurse ASAP. I don’t know (or care) why they can’t seem to get this figured out. Maybe someone is losing the documentation. Maybe the nurses aren’t familiar with the “TDAP” acronym, and don’t know the “P” stands for pertussis which is the medical name for whopping cough. Maybe it’s something else… whatever.

    But if they lose his documentation again, and if they don’t let him into school on Monday – I’m going to be one very irate parent! And it could get ugly. Very, very ugly. Tony Smith and his staff will remember mine and my husband’s names and faces for a long, long time.

    (Sh–, I thought we were done with this adversarial garbage when our autistic older son graduated in 2010! I’m so tired of dealing with incompetence.)

  • Sue

    Big surprise (not!) – we got another robo-call from Skyline last night. They still don’t know that our son’s vaccination is current.

    Husband works part-time and today he’s not working, so he’s going to provide the documentation for the *4th* time – and somebody’s going to get an earful!