Monday, February 21, 2011

Students must get new whooping cough vaccine

Imperial Valley Press News, Feb. 20, 2011

A “new rule for school” is coming to California for the 2010-2011 school year, but some Imperial Valley organizations are already getting the word out to students.

Beginning July 1 all students entering seventh through 12th grades in public and private schools must show proof of having been immunized against whooping cough, according to an Imperial County Public Health Department press release.

Andrade said the Immunization Coalition and other health agencies spent the week posting on Web sites and handing out information in schools about Preteen Vaccine Week, which ended Saturday with a scavenger hunt and raffle at the Imperial Valley Mall in El Centro.

“We learned about preteen vaccines and how important it is to get vaccines,” Natalie Shunnarah, an El Centro resident and member of the winning scavenger hunt team, said. “It was fun,” said the 11-year-old.

Andrade said that while the Tdap vaccine (which protects against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) is required, it is also recommended for seventh- through 12th-graders to receive vaccines against varicella (chickenpox), HPV (human papillomavirus), the seasonal flu and meningococcal meningitis.

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