Beginning July 1 older Belmont students will need to receive a whooping cough vaccine, and county health officials are encouraging students to get vaccinated early.
The San Mateo County Health System has declared next week "Preteen Vaccine Week" in order for parents to meet the new 2011-2012 school requirements.
California's recent whooping cough epidemic, also known as pertussis, prompted the new law, which requires all students entering seventh through twelfth grades receive a whooping cough vaccine as of July 1.
Immunity received from childhood vaccines can weaken over time, and it is important for preteens and teens to get vaccinated again to remain protected from whooping cough and several other conditions,” San Mateo County Health Officer Dr. Scott Morrow said in a statement.
“Many vaccine-preventable diseases spread easily and can lead to missed weeks of school, or very serious consequences, including death. For this reason, I urge parents to take their preteens and teens to a health care provider to make sure they are vaccinated," he said.
For more information about vaccine requirements for teens and preteens, visit www.shotsforschool.org.