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Free whooping cough shots offered

Will help students meet new requirement

OW Staff Writer | 7/31/2014, midnight

With a new compliance law in effect, officials from local school districts are reminding parents and guardians that all students entering seventh grade will need proof of a T-dap booster (whooping cough) shot before starting school. DTap boosters are available for youth under seven years old.

Pertussis (whopping cough) is an epidemic in California and is a highly contagious bacterial disease.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there has been an increase since the 1980s in the number of pertussis cases, especially among those age 10 to 19 years old, and in babies younger than six months.

In the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), classes start Tuesday, Aug. 12, and clinics will be held in various locations.

Children eligible for free shot include those who receive Medi-Cal, who are of Native American descent and who have no health insurance.

LAUSD will hold clinics on:

July 31, Aug. 1 and Aug. 4-8, Roosevelt High School, 456 S. Matthews St., Los Angeles, from 7:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

July 31, Aug. 1 and Aug. 4-8, at Edison Middle School, 6500 Hooper Ave., Los Angeles, from 7:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

July 31, Aug. 5 and Aug. 7 at Central PTA Clinic, 1000 Venice Blvd., Los Angeles, from 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Aug. 1, Aug. 4, Aug. 6 and Aug. 8 at San Miguel Health Clinic, 9801 San Miguel Ave., South Gate, from 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Aug. 4-8, at Murchison Clinic, 1501 Murchison St., Los Angeles, from 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Aug. 4-8 at Holmes Clinic, 5108 Holmes Ave., Los Angeles, from 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Aug. 4-8, at Plasencia Elementary School, (Student Guidance Assessment Center), 1321 Cortez St., Los Angeles, from 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

All clinics close from noon-1 p.m.

Students must have a completed LAUSD immunization consent form and must be current with all their immunizations (bring that record) to receive the whooping cough booster. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and immunization records must be brought for each child.

The law requires students without proof of receiving the whooping cough (Tdap or pertussis) vaccination to be “excluded” from classes. The immunization has been mandated by the state of California because of an epidemic of this highly contagious bacterial disease among teenagers.

To receive the required immunizations, contact your primary care doctor. For referrals to no-cost or low-cost immunization clinics with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, dial 2-1-1. For more information about county clinics, refer to http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/ip/DiseaseSpecific/Pertussis.htm. For more general information, go to: http://pertussis.lausd.net/.

In Compton, a Back-to-School and Family Health Fair will be held Aug. 9 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Compton Towne Center/WIC Center, 130 E. Compton Blvd. The event will offer free immunizations, vision and hearing tests; blood pressure checks; cholesterol, diabetes and dental screenings; as well as WIC, Medi-Cal and CalFresh enrollments. Children 5-18 years old, who complete a health fair passport, will receive a free backpack while supplies last.

In Inglewood, the Curtis Tucker Health Center, 123 W. Manchester Ave., offers free whooping cough immunizations Mondays and Wednesdays at 12:30 p.m. (register at 11:30 a.m.) and Fridays at 8 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. (register at 7:30 and 11:30 p.m.) The cost is $15 per child (maximum $30 per family) for those with no insurance or those on Medi-Cal.