Incoming seventh-grade students will have several chances to receive the state-required Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough) shot this summer.
The Department of Health and Human Services Public Health Branch will once again host “Teen Tdap Thursday” clinics, which are specifically for students entering the seventh grade and for high school students who have not yet had the immunization.
The clinics, which will run through July, are on Thursdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Humboldt County Public Health Clinic, 529 I Street, Eureka. Teens under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or adult with a special permission slip.
Teens who will be entering the seventh through 12th grades this fall need to meet the California state requirement of getting immunized against whooping cough with a Tdap shot before starting school. Immunizations for children are $15, but the shot is free if cost is an obstacle.
Health professionals encourage parents to have their children vaccinated with Tdap now in order to protect them against whooping cough and to meet the 2012-13 school requirements.
Parents are urged to schedule a check-up with their child's doctor now to make sure their teen's immunizations are up-to-date, or bring their teen into the “Teen Tdap Thursday” clinic.
”It's important for preteens and teens to see their doctor and ask about the new immunization requirements for school admission,” said Dr. Don Baird, Humboldt County Public Health Officer. “Immunity received from some childhood vaccines can gradually decrease over time, exposing a child to serious preventable diseases like whooping cough that could easily spread to others in the family, school and community. Don't take a chance on your child's health.”
There are several other vaccines recommended for preteens and teens, including the meningococcal vaccine, a second chickenpox shot (if they never had chickenpox disease) and the HPV vaccine series. Everyone 6 months and older is recommended to receive a seasonal flu vaccine.
For more information, call the Humboldt County Public Health Clinic at (707) 268-2108.