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Battling Whooping Cough In Schools

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Sonora, CA– While some California schools are turning away middle and high school students who have not received the whooping cough vaccine, Tuolumne County schools are doing very well.

Students are now required to get the vaccine under a new law passed last year after a historic increase in cases of the potentially fatal disease. 

The law initially required all students entering grades seven through 12 to get vaccinated by the start of the 2011-2012 school year. However, lawmakers passed a 30-day extension as districts worried many students would not meet the deadline.

Students with parents who oppose vaccines can still attend school if their parents file a form with their objection.

Tuolumne County Superintendent of Schools Joe Silva says he is very pleased with the vaccination compliance at his schools.

“Things are really going well in our county,” said Silva. “At this time we have four schools that are at 100 percent. We have three elementary schools that were 100 percent before school started. Summerville High School has worked very hard with just about four students away. And the rest of our schools are working hard to get every single student vaccinated.”

Silva says earlier this year, the superintendent’s office and Tuolumne County Health Officer Dr. Todd Stolp partnered to make sure county schools were complying with AB 354, the whooping cough vaccine law.

Dr. Stolp says over the next few months there will be a gathering of data to see what percentage of students at various schools were actually vaccinated.

“That data will be compiled in December,” said Stolp. “There will also be audits from the state to see if the schools are in fact still in compliance.”

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