Part of the Bay Area News Group

Free whooping cough immunizations

By Theresa Harrington
Tuesday, June 28th, 2011 at 6:10 pm in Contra Costa County, Education, Theresa Harrington.

School districts throughout Contra Costa County must comply with a new state law that prohibits them from accepting 7th through 12th grade students in the fall, unless they have proof of whooping cough immunization.

To help students meet this requirement, Contra Costa County’s health department is offering free immunization clinics during the summer.

Here’s their news release about the immunizations:

“Contra Costa to Offer Free Tdap Vaccine to help Students meet New School Requirement

What:
Contra Costa Health Services will offer free Tdap (whooping cough booster) vaccine throughout Contra Costa to help teens and preteens meet a new school immunization requirement.

A new California law requires all students in private and public schools entering seventh through 12th grade show proof they’ve received a Tdap vaccine before beginning classes. Free meningococcal and seasonal flu vaccines will also be available for teens and preteens.

Who:
The clinics are open to students ages 10 through 18 years old on a first-come, first-served basis.

Students with health coverage are encouraged to go to their regular health care provider.

When & Where:
Somersville Towne Center, Antioch
2556 Somersville Road
Inside, adjacent to Center Court II
Thursdays – 3 to 7 p.m.
May through August

Todos Santos Plaza, Concord
Willow Pass Road & Grant St.
Booth at the Farmers’ Market
Thursdays – 4 to 8 p.m.
May through August

St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, Oakley
971 O’Hara Ave.
Mondays – July 18; Aug. 1, 15 & 29
3:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Liberty Adult Education Center, Brentwood
929 2nd St.
Mondays – July 11 & 25, Aug. 8 & 22
3:30 to 6:30 p.m.

A West County location will be announced online at www.cchealth.org

Why:
Whooping cough is a serious respiratory disease that can cause death among infants. To date there have been 81 reported cases in Contra Costa and 1,102 in California as of May 16.

For more information about whooping cough in Contra Costa, visit www.cchealth.org or call Contra Costa Health Services at 925-313-6767.”

Do you think your school district is doing enough to inform students and parents about this requirement?

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  • Hell freezing over

    How many 7th thru 12th grade students are expected to enter MDUSD schools at the start of the new school year?

    How many of those students do NOT have the required immunization as of the beginning of July 2011?

    Does MDUSD have in place / follow a 2011 exemption plan for this new required immunization?

    How much will it cost the district each day per each non-immunized student?

    How will teachers know if the children sitting in their class on the first day of school has been immunized?

  • CVHS Mom

    Hell Freezing over, all the schools my kids attend say you simply will not attend, will not get a schedule and will not attend walk through registrations without the records in hand. You think they will still allow kids despite all this? Even the signs in front of several schools say “No vaccine, no school.”

  • Hell freezing over

    CVHS Mom – I read that a very small percentage of MDUSD students who are now required by law to present proof of immunization / booster for purtussis (whooping cough) actually had done so. (can’t find that article now).

    Therefore I am curious about the numbers, and how the district has planned to address how to tell if a student has complied come registration/the first day of school AND how to handle exemptions in the case of an outbreak. Additionally – the new law has a provision for 2 exemptions – personal belief or medical.

    http://www.shotsforschool.org/parents_faq.html#exemptions-and-special-cases-1

  • Theresa Harrington

    At the June 14 board meeting, Felicia Stuckey-Smith said only 32 percent of students had complied with the tdap requirement.
    At the June 28 meeting, she showed a cardboard box labeled “TDAP,” which is located in the district office during the month of July for proof of immunization forms, since schools are closed.
    She said the district would direct students to free clinics at the Concord Farmers Market and said the district is sending out postcards in English and Spanish regarding the requirement, which will be mailed to all 7-12th grade families.
    The district has added tdap information to its website at http://www.mdusd.org/NewsRoom/Pages/noshotnoschoolnews.aspx.
    District staff is inputting the names of those who have complied on a computer database and will pass that information onto schools.
    Superintendent Steven Lawrence said the district will provide bus service to Todos Santos from 5-8 p.m. on July 21 and July 28 for Bay Point schools and Cambridge and Meadow Homes elementary schools and Glenbrook Middle School in Concord.
    This will cost $1,600. However, Lawrence said it would be worth the investment, if 52 or 53 students get the shot.
    “They won’t miss school and we make that up in one day,” he said.
    Stuckey-Smith said the district would also initiate an automated phone call in English and Spanish letting people know about the requirement and the free clinics.
    Board President Gary Eberhart said he had a converstion with someone from state Legislature about the possibility of a 10-day grace period.
    “I was told there is not an enforcement mechanism built into the legislation,” he said. “The CDE has expressed an unwillingness to really go after school districts. I would say school dists that are adopting a 10-day grace period, as long as they’re trying to comply, there would not be an enforcement action. I think we won’t have to look a student in the eye on the first day of school and say: ‘You have to go home.’”