Vaccinate your Teen!

UPDATE: Read the Vida en el Valle story, ‘Pertussis vaccine required at school,’ here.

Hey, California parents! Did you know the state’s vaccination laws have changed?

Beginning in the 2011-2012 school year, all students entering 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grades will need proof of a whooping cough vaccination (known as Tdap) before starting school. (If children received the Tdap shot on or after their 7th birthdays, they do not need another.)

The law applies to students enrolled in public and private schools.

The Fresno County Department of Public Health is encouraging all parents to schedule an appointment with their teens’ health care providers for a Tdap vaccination, other vaccinations, and a complete health check-up.(Click here to hear some of the county health department’s “Vaccinate Your Teen” PSAs.)

Between Jan. 1, 2010 and Dec. 3

Why is this important?

Between Jan. 1, 2010 and Dec. 31, 2010, California experienced the most severe whooping cough epidemic in 63 years, according to the California Department of Public.

The epidemic hit the state’s Latino community especially hard. Nine of the ten infants who died of whooping cough last year were Latino.

Read more from Harvesting Health about whooping cough:

Photo above by Daniel Cásarez.