WatchSonoma Watch

State extends deadline for students to get vaccinations


Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed into law a bill that allows seventh- through twelfth-graders 30 days after the start of school to show proof of a current pertussis, or whooping cough, vaccination.

Before Brown signed the legislation, students would have been barred from school and school-related activities without proof of the shot.

“It would have (been) a real stressor for the first day of school,” said Steve Herrington, superintendent of Sonoma County schools.

This year marks the first year that students in the secondary grades are required to have the booster, or Tdap, to attend school. The law went into effect July 1 but school officials have been reaching out to parents and students for months urging them to get the necessary vaccination.

In February, Sonoma County health officials estimated as many as 17,000 teens didn’t have current immunizations. Health officials do not have updated numbers.

“We know it’s been difficult for schools over the summer to calculate and come up with numbers of students who still need this vaccination,” said Mark Netherda, interim Sonoma County Public Health Director.

“That doesn’t mean the kids haven’t been vaccinated,” he said. “It’s just that we don’t know and we won’t know until that kind of boom is lowered and they have to show up.”

There is no shortage of the pertussis, or whooping cough, vaccine and many offices and agencies are offering the shot, Netherda said.

Dr. David Smith, a pediatrician with Annadel Medical Group, said doctors had been trying to update inoculations even before the new law passed.

“We were prepared for a rush. There hasn’t been one,” he said. “Even with those deadlines, it hasn’t been a problem because the parents are tuned into it. Most pediatric offices have been doing it all along.”

The 30-day reprieve will allow school officials to hand out schedules, as well as sign up students for sports and extra curricular activities, while also maintaining communication with parents about the new requirement.

“From a public health standpoint, there is still a pertussis epidemic,” Netherda said. “Adolescents tend to be a reservoir for the disease, they spread it to younger siblings. We do feel that it is really a public health issue and it’s important for kids to get immunized if we are ever going to try to get a handle on this disease in California.”

Students can opt out of the requirement, but must have a parents sign a personal waiver in the presence of a school official.

More than 1,900 cases of pertussis have been reported in California this year. No deaths have been reported.

In 2010, 8,627 confirmed, probable and suspected cases of whooping cough were documented, including the deaths of 10 infants who were all too young to have received the first three doses of the vaccine. The numbers were the highest in 63 years, prompted state officials to declare an epidemic.

4 Responses to “State extends deadline for students to get vaccinations”

  1. DanFox says:

    Scientific illiteracy is unfortunately the norm, not the exception, in the US. Only 20% of American adults know that the Earth orbits the sun and not the other way around. Forty-six percent believe that the Earth is less than 10,000 years old.

    So it should come as no surprise that there is an unfortunately large segment of our society endorses beliefs about vaccines that are based in misinformation and paranoia rather than in science.

    The anti-vaccine movement started with a “study” purporting a link between the MMR virus and autism. It was performed by a doctor who was being paid by a law firm for evidence to be used in a suit against vaccine manufacturers. It is VERY well-documented at this point that this “evidence” was completely faked. Unfortunately the many devoted followers of this quack haven’t caught up with reality yet (and probably never will).

    My brother was a rubella baby, sadly conceived just before the MMR vaccine became available. Because of that I grew up knowing a lot of other rubella babies. Google “congenital rubella” if you don’t know what I’m talking about. That’s an example of the very real consequence of NOT having vaccines. The paranoid scare-tactic stuff that “Social Dis-Ease” is talking about has no basis in reality.

  2. Social Dis-Ease says:

    OK, this is heavy stuff. I’m surprised lots of people aren’t commenting. First of all,those vaccines are evil, DO NOT ALLOW YOUR CHILDREN TO GET THEM. Secondly, the schools will say ‘no shots-no school’. That’s not true, there is an opt out clause. Some sites to look at on the subject: Vaccines.Mercola.com, 909shot.com, NVIC.org, Vaccine911.com or search poisonous shots on YouTube. Google poisonous vaccines there is much information on this important issue. Look, mercury, metals, toxic chemicals, formaldehyde and ingredients the pharmaceutical companies won’t share. They do contain the very virus the vaccine professes to protect from, is that what you want in your child’s body? Societies that don’t have shots don’t have autism, Alzheimer’s,the the myriad of neurological disorders suddenly present in our medical landscape. These metals migrate to the brain over time. Often accumulating to women’s breasts(breast cancer). Gulf war syndrome isn’t from what Saddam did to our beautiful young people, the condition(s) are from mandatory shots to ‘protect’ our troops. The oppression that has taken aim at; unalienable rights, property rights, adversely manipulated our currency, our media, our prosperity, our freedoms, way of life and our general well being. Now they want to force poison on our children? THIS IS AGENDA 21. One of the Agenda’s goals is the reduction of human population by 90%! This is a well documented fact. Spraying us like cockroaches from the sky, pharms, poisoning EMF ‘soft kill’ technology through cell phones, computers, Smart Meters, fluoride, dental poisoning, poisonous light bulbs, food poisoning, etc,etc… Engineering cancer so they can profit from poisoning us more. Now they want us to live stacked ‘ packed really close to trains, really close together(without autoMOBILEs) as to facilitate monitoring, control and ?. Search: Morph City, Freedom Advocates, Democrats Against UN Agenda 21. Or search Agenda 21 on Youtube.

  3. Terry says:

    Back when I went to school in the 60′s, no shots no school, no education. There was not such a thing as students being able to opt out of the requirement.
    We didn’t have the disease problems that we do now with all the opting out.
    We should go back to those requirements, should solve the disease problems.

  4. Frank says:

    The numbers were the highest in 63 years, prompted state officials to declare an epidemic. do i DARE say

    hum, i know when i went to other ports-of-call ( for some by air ) my passport had proff of vaccines immunizations/prophylaxis

    oops (proof) for your more progressive types. you know, just sayin