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Los Angeles school district offers free whooping cough booster shots to kids who qualify

By Susan Abram, Daily News, Los Angeles
McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

July 22--Ten clinics will offer free booster shots next week to Los Angeles Unified students, who need proof they've been immunized against whooping cough.

A state law requires all students prove they have been vaccinated with the Tdap booster shot before entering the seventh grade unless they are excluded under the state's personal belief exemption. School starts on Aug. 12 for LAUSD students.

At least 50 Los Angeles Unified School District students have come down with whooping cough since the beginning of June with more than a third of them from the San Fernando Valley and many from the South Bay region, officials reported last week.

A total of 84 cases of the infectious diseases have been reported throughout the district since March. That's triple the number of cases in a normal year, Dee Apodaca, director of LAUSD school nursing services, said on Friday.

The rise in rates of whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is a reflection of an overall increase statewide. Increases in whooping cough occur every three to five years because the vaccine's ability to keep a child immune wanes over time, which is why booster shots are recommended every 10 years. Within the LAUSD, about 84 percent of all students have proven they have had their boosters, but at least 8,000 remain, Apodaca said.

Free immunizations will be available only to eligible children, which include those who receive Medi-Cal, who are of Native American descent and who have no insurance.

Those students must have a completed LAUSD immunization consent form and their current immunization record to receive the whooping cough booster, officials said. Children also must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and immunization records must be brought for each child.

District clinics will offer the vaccine at the following places. All clinics are closed from noon to 1 p.m.

--Zelzah Clinic, North Area Nursing Office, 6505 Zelzah Ave., Reseda, from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.July 28-31, Aug. 1 and Aug. 4-8.

--Telfair PTA Clinic, 10911 Telfair Ave., Pacoima, from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.July 28-31, Aug. 1 and Aug. 4-8.

--Columbus Clinic, 22250 Elkwood St., Canoga Park, from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., July 28-31, Aug. 1 and Aug. 4-8

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--Murchison Clinic, 1501 Murchison St., Los Angeles, from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.Aug. 4-8

--Central PTA Clinic, 1000 Venice Blvd., Los Angeles, from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. , July 29 and 31, Aug. 5 and Aug. 7.

--Holmes Clinic, 5108 Holmes Ave., Los Angeles, from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Aug 4-8

--Roosevelt High School, 456 S. Matthews Street, Los Angeles, from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., July 28-31, Aug. 1 and Aug. 4-8.

--San Miguel Health Clinic, 9801 San Miguel Ave., South Gate, from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., July 30, Aug. 1, Aug. 4, Aug. 6 and Aug. 8.

--Betty Plasencia Elementary School, (Student Guidance Assessment Center), 1321 Cortez St., Los Angeles, from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Aug. 4-8.

--Edison Middle School, 6500 Hooper Ave., Los Angeles from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., July 28-31, Aug. 1 and Aug. 4-8.

The law requires students without proof of receiving the whooping cough (Tdap or pertussis) vaccination to be "excluded" from classes. The immunization has been mandated by the state of California because of an epidemic of this highly contagious bacterial disease among teenagers.

For more general information, go to: http://pertussis.lausd.net/.

___

(c)2014 the Daily News (Los Angeles)

Visit the Daily News (Los Angeles) at www.dailynews.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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