I found a note in my son’s backpack yesterday (from the beginning of February!) informing parents that California had passed a law requiring all children in grades 7-12 to be immunized against Pertussis. Pertussis, or Whooping Cough, has been making a comeback in California. Assembly Bill 354 is hoping to stem that tide. The bill applies to all students whether they are in public or private school and goes into effect on July1, 2012. The requirement can be met by receiving a Tdap1 booster on or after the 10th birthday. The shot can be obtained at local public health agencies for those without a doctor.
Exemptions are permitted for verified medical conditions or the ever popular “personal beliefs.” I hope that “personal beliefs” means valid religious reasons, because one of the reasons for the resurgence of Pertussis is that many people are not having their children immunized.