The El Dorado County Health Services Department, Public Health Division, is offering Tdap vaccine at low-cost this summer and just in time for middle school and high school students who will need proof of the vaccination to start school this fall. The Tdap vaccine, which helps protect against pertussis, will be administered to seventh through 12th grade El Dorado County students at the following student vaccination clinics:
Saturday, July 16: 11 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Fairgrounds in Placerville in the Organ Room, 100 Placerville Drive.
Thursday, July 28: 3 to 6 p.m. at the Community Church in Grizzly Flat, 5061 Sciaroni Road.
Tuesday, Aug. 2: 3 to 6 p.m. at Light of the Hills Lutheran Church in Cameron Park, 3100 Rodeo Road (behind Applebee’s).
Thursday, Aug. 4: 3 to 6 p.m. at the Pollock Pines Community Church in Pollock Pines in the Evergreen Room, 6361 Pony Express Trail.
Wednesday, Aug. 10: 3 to 6 p.m. at the Georgetown Community Center in Georgetown, 6329 Lower Main St.
Every Tuesday during July and August from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Farmer’s Market in South Lake Tahoe (American Legion parking lot), 2748 Lake Tahoe Blvd.
The Health Services Department is requesting a $10 administration fee for the Tdap vaccination. However, no child will be denied the vaccination due to inability to pay. Parents are urged to bring their child’s yellow immunization record to the vaccination clinic.
The Tdap vaccine protects against pertussis (also known as whooping cough). Pertussis is a contagious respiratory infection that can lead to severe coughing fits, hospitalizations, and deaths among vulnerable individuals. Pertussis reached epidemic proportions last year in California, resulting in 9,477 cases and ten infant deaths, and prompting the passage of AB 354. AB 354 is a new California school immunization law that takes effect on July 1, requiring all seventh through 12th grade students in public and private schools to receive a Tdap vaccination before starting school in the fall of 2011 if they have not gotten one already on or after their 7th birthday. Many cases of pertussis last year were among middle school and high school aged youth.
“Studies show that immunity from childhood pertussis vaccination begins to wane around middle school age, and when the Tdap vaccine is administered to adolescents it provides them with the protection they need against this contagious bacterial infection,” said Cathy Dunbar, El Dorado County immunization coordinator.
The Tdap vaccine also protects the body against tetanus and diphtheria.
In addition to the student vaccination clinics the Health Services Department also offers the Tdap vaccine by appointment. To schedule a vaccination appointment call (530) 621-6100 in Placerville or (530) 573-3155 in South Lake Tahoe.
Additional information about Tdap and the new school requirement is available at edcgov.us/publichealth.