Deadline Extended for Mandatory Whooping Cough Booster Shots - NBC Southern California

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Deadline Extended for Mandatory Whooping Cough Booster Shots

Parents may not opt out of getting the shot for their children.

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    Deadline Extended for Mandatory Whooping Cough Booster Shots
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    The Legislature extends the deadline for children to get their whooping cough shot. No one may opt out of this shot if they want to attend school.

    Children who do not get the whooping cough booster shot within 30 days of the start of school will not be allowed to attend.

    Although many kids did get their booster shots this year, some surveys show up to 30 percent have not gotten them yet.

    Originally the law mandated that 7-12th graders needed the shot before school started. That deadline has been extended and now students have until up to 30 days after the start of school.

    "They were finding schools were not prepared and parents were having difficulty getting the shots, so this gives us time to comply with the law," said LAUSD Medical Director Dr. Kimberly Uyeda.

    Deadline Extended for Whooping Cough Vaccinations

    [LA] Deadline Extended for Whooping Cough Vaccinations
    Dr. Bruce Hensel looks at the new state requirements for student vaccinations.
    (Published Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2011)

    Some parents may have hesitated to get the shot because of a concern that it might be linked to autism, but this shot -- recommended to be given before the start of 7th grade -- is given years after the onset of autism and studies show there is no connection between the whooping cough shot booster and autism.

    And in fact, studies have shown, unlike many of the other childhood vaccines, a booster to prevent whooping cough (pertussis) is necessary.

    "The immunity from the first whooping cough shot is good but it wanes after a few years, so the feeling is that by 10 years old, getting a booster will protect the child through school and college," Uyeda said.

    Although the whooping cough booster is the only one mandated right now, there are other recommended vaccines that parents may be able to opt out of. These include polio, tetanus, the first whooping cough shot before kindergarten, diphtheria, hepatitis B, measles, mumps, rubella (German measles) and varicella (chicken pox).

    All of those shots prevent potentially deadly diseases. Whooping cough is on the rise; and many parents carry it, so family members need to get the shot, too. If your child does not get the shot by near the end of September, he or she will not be allowed to attend school in California.

    To find the location where you can get the shots, visit lausd.net.