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New Law Requires Whooping Cough Vaccine

Clarification: The California Department of Public Health recommends all children 10 years and older receive whooping cough booster shots, but the new law applies to students entering 7th through 12th grade.


A new law requires California middle-schoolers to get a whooping-cough vaccine this year.

A new law requiring all California middle-school kids to get a whooping-cough vaccine goes into effect this year. Legislators passed the law in the midst of the worst whooping-cough outbreak in more than 60 years.

More than 1,100 adults and children have been diagnosed with whooping cough in San Diego County this year. Two babies have died from the disease.

Children entering kindergarten are required to have five doses of the whooping-cough vaccine. The new law mandates a sixth dose for everyone 10 years and older. San Diego County deputy health officer Dr. Dean Sidelinger said the new law will affect about 130,000 students this year.

“So that’s why we’re trying to get the word out as early as we can so parents have many opportunities to get their children vaccinated before they enter school in the fall," Sidelinger said.

Whooping cough is an upper respiratory illness that in older children and adults can mimic a bad cold, but in infants can be fatal.

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