LAUSD’s whooping cough vaccines at 93 percent compliance
Mike Szymanski | August 24, 2015
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The anticipated thousands of 7th graders being sent home for not having their vaccinations didn’t quite happen last week, the first week of school.
LA Unified students were at 93 percent compliance, according to Ellen T. Morgan of the district communications office. That percentage “increases every day,” she said. There are about 36,000 7th graders at LA Unified.
Getting the word out to families early was key in educating the parents, although there were some glitches. Parents led a protest at the Thomas Starr King Middle School last week when their children were pulled out of class for not having their Tdap vaccine, which helps prevent whooping cough (also known as pertussis). Phone calls, letters and social media have been used to alert famlies during the summer in preparation for school.
Pertussis, a respiratory illness, is a contagious bacterial disease that can last for months but fade over time.
Starting next year, families will no longer get exemptions from immunizations due to personal beliefs, according to a bill signed by Governor Jerry Brown. Personal belief exemptions remain in effect until then.