New legislation could extend Tdap deadline for students, schools

-A +A
The California Department of Education is hoping Gov. Jerry Brown will sign a bill that will give schools an extra 30 days to get required vaccination forms this school year. In February 2009 the California Legislature passed Assembly Bill 354. The law states that all seventh-12th grade students in the state enrolled in the 2011/2012 school year are required to get the Tdap vaccination before starting classes. Tdap is a booster vaccine that protects older children, adolescents and adults from pertussis, also called whooping cough, tetanus and diphtheria, according to the Placer Union High School District website. The Legislature-passed Senate Bill 614, sponsored by Sen. Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego), gives schools an extra 30 days after classes begin to collect vaccination verification forms from students. Tom Torlakson, state superintendent of public instruction, said Thursday he was happy with the new legislation and hopes Brown will sign it. “I’m grateful that the Legislature has recognized our schools need some extra time to meet the immunization deadline,” Torlakson said. “We don’t want to see students lose precious learning time or be turned away from classes at the start of school. I urge the governor to sign this legislation, and continue to also urge parents to immunize their children as soon as possible, both to protect their health and to prevent the spread of this dangerous disease.” For more information about pertussis and the Tdap, visit ~Staff report