Despite an emergency law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown Monday allowing incoming students more time to get the whooping cough vaccine required to enroll in school, Riverside County health officials urge residents to act sooner rather than later.
According to the new law, schools can now conditionally admit students who do not have proof of the Tdap vaccination for up to 30 days.
Previous requirements made all incoming students in grades 7-12 at public and private schools, show proof of vaccination before the school-year enrollment process.
“The need for students to get the Tdap vaccination remains a high priority when it comes to the health of the community,” said Riverside County Health Officer Dr. Eric Frykman in a news release. “Nothing has changed in that regard. It is crucial for parents and guardians to get their children vaccinated as soon as possible.”
SW Riverside Family Care Centers with extended hours:
Hemet Family Care Center: 880 N. State St.
Dates: August 2, 9, 16, 19, 23, 24
Hours: 8-11 a.m., 1 p.m. -6:30 p.m.
Lake Elsinore Family Care Center: 2499 E. Lakeshore Dr.
Dates: July 28 and August 4, 11, 12, 15, 17, 18,
Hours: 8-11 a.m. & 1-6:30 p.m.
The Riverside County Office of Education estimates that while more than 220,000 students in the county are required to get the vaccine, there will only be a 55 percent compliance rate.
Last year, more than 9,000 Californians got the illness and 10 infants died from whopping cough, according to the Riverside County Department of Public Health.
In order to provide Riverside County students with the required whooping cough vaccine, the Riverside County Health Department extended the hours at 10 Public Health Family Care Centers earlier this month so the Tdap vaccines can be administered. Health officials are encouraging parents to take their children to a family doctor for the vaccine or make an appointment at one of the 10 clinics if they do not have insurance.
The child’s immunization record is necessary at the time of visit and a $10 administration fee will be charged at the county’s Family Care Centers.
For information on clinic hours and locations, call 800-720-9553.