Whooping Cough (Pertussis) Information
New Whooping Cough (Pertussis) Immunization Requirements Beginning in 2011-12
Starting in July 2011, a new state law (AB 354) goes into effect that changes California's immunization requirements for all students entering grades 7-12. The new law requires the following:
(1) Beginning in the 2011-12 school year, all students entering into any grade from 7th through 12th will need proof of an adolescent whooping cough booster shot (called "Tdap") before starting school.
(2) For the next school year (2012-13) and all future school years, all students entering into the 7th grade only will need proof of a "Tdap" shot to start school.
More "Tdap" Vaccination Resources
* Assembly Bill 354(AB 354)
Whooping Cough Information Resources
* What does whooping cough sound like? (.wav file)
* Informational flyer (courtesy of Madera County Public Health)
* Informational flyer (in Spanish)
* Madera County Public Health Department: (559) 675-7893
* Recognizing Whooping Cough(PDF)
Frequently Asked Questions
What is whooping cough?
Whooping cough (also known as “pertussis”) is a bacterial, respiratory infection that spreads from person-to-person. It frequently includes a cough which lasts two weeks or more and may become severe and persistent.
The cough is often accompanied by a “whooping” sound, especially in children. The cough may be minimal in some individuals, but it is persistent.
Is there a vaccine for whooping cough?
Yes, there is a vaccine. In order to get the vaccine, please contact your health care provider.
School-aged children need a booster before starting kindergarten. Middle school students and adults should substitute one dose of the vaccine Tdap in place of their regular Tetanus booster.
What is the new "Tdap" requirement for 7th-12th graders?
Starting in July 2011, a new law (AB 354) changing California immunization requirements for all students entering grades 7-12 goes into effect. The law requires: (1) This coming school year (2011-12), all students entering any grade from 7-12 will need proof of an adolescent whooping cough booster shot, called "Tdap," before starting school; and (2) For the 2012-13 school year and all future school years, all students entering into the seventh grade only will need proof of a "Tdap" shot to start school.
Why was the "Tdap" requirement added?
This new requirement will help protect your child and others in your school and community from whooping cough. Whooping cough is a serious disease that causes coughing fits that can last for months. It can be deadly for infants. In recent years, whooping cough has been increasing in the United States. In 2010, whooping cough was widespread in California.
What is "Tdap"?
Tdap is a booster vaccine for older children, adolescents and adults. It safely protects against three dangerous diseases - Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis (whooping cough).
Who is most at risk of whooping cough?
Young children, particularly those under the age of 1.
Caregivers in close contact with children can get a booster vaccination to ensure they do not spread bacteria.
If I’m an adult, where may I obtain the booster vaccine?
Most primary care offices provide the vaccination. In addition, parents may ask if their infant’s physician offers this vaccine.
What has happened to allow whooping cough to grow into a concern?
It is a fact that unique communicable diseases will be more active in a certain year. For example, in the very recent past, the Valley has dealt with an increase in the spread of the H1N1 (“swine”) flu as well as tuberculosis. This tends to be a natural progression of viruses.
The most important thing to remember is that no matter what unique communicable disease is particularly active at the time, proper treatment or vaccinations may be found by contacting your health care provider. They are equipped to handle whatever virus is contagious during a certain season or year.
Last Modified on January 24, 2012