Schools to require new vaccine for pertussis

Law mandating pertussis booster for seventh through 12th grade students follows whooping cough deaths in 2010

Starting this fall, California public and private schools will require students in grades 7 through 12 to have a booster shot against pertussis, better known as whooping cough.

The mandate -- which follows the death of 10 California infants in a whooping cough epidemic last year -- comes from a new law signed last September by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The Palo Alto Medical Foundation has "no shortage" of the vaccination, a spokeswoman said.

"The new state regulation says that all students between seventh and 12th grade need (the pertussis booster) because the childhood vaccination doesn't give lifelong immunity," Medical Foundation Public Affairs Manager Cynthia Greaves said.

For the 2011-12 school year, all students entering any grade from 7 to 12 will need proof of the booster, known as Tdap.

For 2012-13 and future school years, all students entering seventh grade -- or those newly registering for seventh through 12th grade in a California district or private school -- will need proof of the Tdap booster.

More information is posted at, sponsored by the California Department of Public Health.

The agency is urging parents not to wait for the new school year to get children vaccinated since "there will be no grace period, and the regulations will be strictly enforced."

The Palo Alto Medical Foundation -- whose patient population includes 60,000 children in the seventh- to twelfth-grade age group stretching from Watsonville to San Mateo County to the East Bay -- has identified which of those already have had the booster and which have not.

The foundation recently mailed proof of vaccination to parents of children who have had the booster that will be acceptable to school officials, PAMF Director of Communications and Public Affairs Jill Antonides said.

In the coming weeks, the foundation will mail reminders about the new law to parents of children who have not yet had the Tdap booster, Antonides said.

In calendar 2010, 8,383 cases of whooping cough, including the 10 infant deaths, were reported throughout California, according to a preliminary count by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

It was the highest number of reported cases since 1947, when 9,934 cases were reported, and the highest incidence of cases since 1958, when there were 26 cases per 100,000 population, the CDC said.

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Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 6, 2011 at 5:26 pm

I hope parents don't start whining that this vaccine causes polio or Parkinson's or brain melt or my-kid's-not-gonna-be-perfect-if-they're-vaccinated syndrome or any other bull puckey medical condition.

Like this comment
Posted by more
a resident of another community
on Feb 6, 2011 at 8:37 pm

if you get this shot, you will get whooping cough!!! do not get it. they inject the virus into you so you get it and they get their money and you come back and pay for medicine. this shot will give you the virus and its contagious and other people might get it too. so i advise for you not to get it. thank you.

Like this comment
Posted by Wife of M.D.
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 6, 2011 at 10:16 pm

Oh, please, Californian, get real. That is how ALL vaccines work. Inject the person with a small amount of either dead or live virus, the antibodies build up in the body so when the person is exposed to a large amount of the virus, the body already has antibodies to fight it off so the person does not get sick. The vaccines have such a small amount of the virus in them so a person does not actually develop symptoms of the virus.

Whooping cough is a serious illness which lasts for at least a month of coughing until one nearly vomits.

The live viruses do make a person remotely contagious (stay away from newborns and those with compromised immune systems) while the dead ones do not. The flumist is a live virus, vs. the injection.

Like this comment
Posted by person......
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Feb 6, 2011 at 10:17 pm


what would you recommend?

Like this comment
Posted by Jeff
a resident of another community
on Feb 6, 2011 at 10:24 pm

The shot is NOT mandatory! Parents can sign a personal beliefs exemption form if they don't want their kids to get the shot. Web Link

And before allowing the shot, parents should at least read the package insert. There are 2 brands of Tdap vaccine.
Boostrix Web Link
Adacel Web Link

Like this comment
Posted by Wife of M.D.
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 6, 2011 at 11:37 pm

Whooping cough is highly contagious and cough syrup does nothing for the symptoms. Even those who have been vaccinated can catch the virus but symptoms will be less.

From the CDC: Web Link

Pertussis can cause violent and rapid coughing, over and over, until the air is gone from the lungs and you are forced to inhale with a loud "whooping" sound. This extreme coughing can cause you to throw up and be very tired. The "whoop" is often not there and the infection is generally milder (less severe) in teens and adults, especially those who have been vaccinated.

Early symptoms can last for 1 to 2 weeks and usually include:

•Runny nose
•Low-grade fever (generally minimal throughout the course of the disease)
•Mild, occasional cough
•Apnea – a pause in breathing (in infants)

Because pertussis in its early stages appears to be nothing more than the common cold, it is often not suspected or diagnosed until the more severe symptoms appear. Infected people are most contagious during this time, up to about 2 weeks after the cough begins. Antibiotics may shorten the amount of time someone is contagious.

As the disease progresses, the traditional symptoms of pertussis appear and include:

•Paroxysms (fits) of many, rapid coughs followed by a high-pitched "whoop"
•Vomiting (throwing up)
•Exhaustion (very tired) after coughing fits

The coughing fits can go on for up to 10 weeks or more. In China, pertussis is known as the "100 day cough."

Although you are often exhausted after a coughing fit, you usually appear fairly well in-between. Coughing fits generally become more common and severe as the illness continues, and can occur more often at night. The illness can be milder (less severe) and the typical "whoop" absent in children, teens, and adults who have been vaccinated.

Recovery from pertussis can happen slowly. The cough becomes less severe and less common. However, coughing fits can return with other respiratory infections for many months after pertussis started.

Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 7, 2011 at 12:28 am

Apparently, the shot is mandatory. Of course, there are loopholes, as there always are in these PC my-child-is-oh-so-special times. There are always selfish people who don't want their child inoculated but they count on the majority being so, and piggy back on the them.

Like this comment
Posted by Mark
a resident of University South
on Feb 7, 2011 at 12:45 am

What does Whooping Cough sound like?

Glad we have the internet: Web Link

Like this comment
Posted by gunn parent
a resident of Gunn High School
on Feb 7, 2011 at 11:49 am


So parents who refuse to vaccinate their kids..their kids will be the one who end up getting whooping cough.

Survival of the strongest. Feel sorry for the ignorant , paranoid parents who do not protect their kids.

Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Feb 7, 2011 at 12:11 pm

no, their kids will just be carriers.

Like this comment
Posted by Mark
a resident of University South
on Feb 7, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Gunn Parent: the sad truth is that Californian's kids are likely to be fine (relatively) - but they will pass it onto another family who ends up infecting a one year old or a newborn, who in turns dies. That is what's so incideous about most people it's like a long cold or flu (what Wife of MD describes), but it is exceptionally dangerous to young children.

Like this comment
Posted by Sarah
a resident of Los Altos
on Feb 7, 2011 at 2:28 pm

The pertussis vaccine does not prevent transmission. It only makes pertussis more mild. Vaccinated people can and do transmit the bacteria to others.

Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Feb 7, 2011 at 3:58 pm

Apparently adults are just as capable of spreading this bacteria. If it's so dangerous, why are we not ALL required to be revaccinated? Is the workplace or public transit any less conducive to infection than the classroom?

Like this comment
Posted by EcoMama
a resident of Community Center
on Feb 7, 2011 at 6:13 pm

A friend of a friend lost her newborn to whooping cough. Her own vaccinations were out of date. All adults are supposed to get boosters every 10 years (pertussis, as well as tetanus and diptheria, is part of what's covered by the TDAP or DTAP, as my doc referred to it). What the district is suggesting is not outrageous; kids received these vaccinations as babies, and it's just a booster. For goodness sake, set aside paranoia and ask a doctor. And then ask yourself: could you live with yourself if you passed a fatal illness along to a child?

I wish I new of a pro-vaccine movement ... there needs to be a loud one to make exceptions harder to come by. This paranoia over advanced medicine that we're lucky to have access to drives me nuts.

Like this comment
Posted by mom
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 7, 2011 at 9:04 pm

On Whooping Cough

Found a study published by the Royal Society, the prestigious U.K. based science group, saying the whooping cough outbreak is being caused by a mutated bacteria.

According to the Society, the widely used aP vaccination makes the "host", i.e. our children, more susceptible to the mutated bacteria.

How nice. Web Link

The current whooping cough vaccine does not protect against this new mutated strain.

Like this comment
Posted by mom
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 7, 2011 at 9:09 pm

from the Royal Society abstract on the pertussis vaccine:

"Despite over 50 years of population-wide vaccination, whooping cough incidence is on the rise. Although Bordetella pertussis is considered the main causative agent of whooping cough in humans, Bordetella parapertussis infections are not uncommon. The widely used acellular whooping cough vaccines (aP) are comprised solely of B. pertussis antigens that hold little or no efficacy against B. parapertussis." Web Link published 2010.

Like this comment
Posted by Abstract reader
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 7, 2011 at 9:11 pm

"According to the Society, the widely used aP vaccination makes the "host", i.e. our children, more susceptible to the mutated bacteria."

Not quite. The study was performed on rodents, not humans.

Like this comment
Posted by mom
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 7, 2011 at 9:15 pm

The New York Times also reported, Web Link, that:

"The rise in pertussis doesn't seem to be related to parents' refusing to have their children vaccinated for fear of potential side effects.

In California, pertussis rates are about the same in counties with high childhood vaccination rates and low ones. And the C.D.C. reports that pertussis immunization rates have been stable or increasing since 1992."

When disease incidence statistics publicized by state health departments do not match those published by federal health agencies, there is something wrong.

It is time for California health officials to fully disclose complete details of the 1,500 whooping cough cases they allege have occurred in the state during the past year, including how many cases were lab confirmed as B. pertussis; how many cases were classified as "epidemiologically linked" - which means they were NOT lab confirmed; and the ages and vaccination status of all cases, including whether people with suspected or confirmed cases had been given 1,2,3,4,5,6 or more pertussis shots.

Like this comment
Posted by mom
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 7, 2011 at 9:19 pm

There are children, who are at higher risk for becoming brain injured or dying after getting pertussis containing vaccines (DTaP, Tdap), including those who have suffered previous vaccine reactions like:22 ,23

* Very high fever
* High pitched screaming or persistent crying
* Convulsions (with or without fever)
* Collapse/shock (also known as hypo-tonic/hypo-responsive episodes)
* Brain Inflammation and encephalopathy

For a full list of precautions for children, teenagers and adults, read the manufacturer product inserts and get more information about how to recognize a vaccine reaction at

Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 7, 2011 at 11:11 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

EcoMama - as usual, you are a voice of reason - thanks for your post.

Like this comment
Posted by Fleur de Lis
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 10, 2011 at 11:37 am

Fleur de Lis is a registered user.

My husband was vaccinated for whooping cough and then still got it as a teen, but believes it was more mild because of having been vaccinated. He recently had the Tdap when in for a recent check-up. With children in preschool, I was aware that the other children who appeared the most runny nosed and sick all the time were the ones whose parents were against vaccinations. So, I believe in safe guarding my child by vaccinating, knowing at least that if my child does get sick, at least it will be more mild than had I not had my child vaccinated. Better safe than sorry.

Like this comment
Posted by mom
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 10, 2011 at 11:46 am

Fleur de Lis,
I cannot speak for other kids, but my son was not vaccinated, and he stays healthy while other kids who have been vaccinated come down with fevers, runny noses, colds, etc.

I believe it is the vitamin D and C I give him.

Like this comment
Posted by Wife of M.D.
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 10, 2011 at 12:18 pm

@Mom of Adobe: you are relying on your own experience and anecdotes rather than medical research of thousands of people. There are many variables to what you have witnessed, such as - perhaps those kids attend daycare on a regular basis, their parents don't wash their hands often enough, etc. If your child is exposed to a contagious virus, the vitamins will not ward off the virus.

Linus Pauling's research on Vitamin C to avoid colds has been proved flawed: Web Link

Research on the vaccine link to autism has been proved a fraud: Web Link

Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 10, 2011 at 6:53 pm

There was also a study showing that all vitamins are expelled by the body. The vitamin D thing has been disproven I thought as well, but I might be wrong. It was the latest hyped vitamin. It's pretty interesting that people are so anti-vax. Where I find it relevant is questioning the wisdom of vaccinating older dogs & cats who are either always onleash or kept indoors.

I've been frustrated by the parents whose kids piggyback on the ones who who've been vaccinated. Most of them, in my experience, are new agers who buy into fake science.

Like this comment
Posted by mom
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 11, 2011 at 12:49 pm

wife of M.D. - gimme a break - that is the best you can do? LOL

Everyone knows you cure scurvy with limes. Vitamin C works. That's elementary school knowledge.

The problem with wife of M.D. is that your husband has a vested interest in promoting vaccination because, it's one of his revenue sources. :)

Like this comment
Posted by mom
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 11, 2011 at 1:12 pm

Web Link

On the unethical advertising of the HPV vaccine: Web Link
(NaturalNews) The horrors caused by Merck & Co.'s Gardasil vaccine and GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK) Cervarix vaccine continue as six young girls recently died from the shots during an experimental Indian trial. The two human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines have been implicated in at least 67 deaths in the U.S., prompting no response from U.S. officials other than to keep pushing it on the public, but the six deaths in India have prompted the government there to immediately stop all trials of the vaccines.
Web Link

Merck, Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, etc. all those big drug companies that make money off vaccinating your kids all do it for profit. They will stop at nothing to make sure they profit. They will use scare tactics and smear campaigns to ensure that you vaccinate. This is all in the name of PROFIT.

Wife of M.D. I do not buy into your scare tactics and, frankly, unpersuasive attempts to dissuade me from natural, whole food sources of vitamins to ensure the health of my family. You can go ahead and drug up your kids with all the vaccines and drugs your drug company wants you to have. But no thanks for me.

Because no drug company can patent what is the best medicine on earth: and that is FOOD. Hippocrates said it best, "Let food be they medicine."

But your local drug company would love nothing more than to serve you up a cocktail of guardasil, cervarix, trepdia, infanrix, daptacel,... you name it. And scare you into thinking that if you do not your risk your life. Your life hangs on these drugs.

It is a shame. The drug companies are using the oldest trick in the book. And most people buy into it. Because it is profitable, very profitable.

Like this comment
Posted by Wife of M.D.
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 11, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Mom of Adobe,

I was not going to spend a lot of time surfing for links about Linus Pauling's bogus research. There are plenty of links and that one appeared first.

Your knowledge of life is questionable. Vitamin C does not work or your children would never catch a cold. Can you tell me how my husband is paid by the drug companies? That is so far-fetched that it amazes me that one could even think such B.S.

Like this comment
Posted by laevern
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 13, 2011 at 2:47 pm

Gardasil all hpv vaccines

Merck sent to FDA the paper work to make legal


merck sends testing info to EPA
The EPA send legal paperwork to FDA


gangs taking over not knowing the laws

not knowing

HPV their is no acquired immunity

this acquired immunity is in the vaccine to learn the acquired immunity in the vaccine

A vaccine for HPV????

Everything merck says that positive for this all HPV vaccines are a lie

force children
the next generation of where the country that stands as adults

thats a war tactic

walk over them when it finally hits that bad and wlk over
all or stomp

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