July 16, 2011 (San Diego) – Sen. Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego) announced today that the Senate unanimously passed her bill to extend the deadline for students to receive their whooping cough vaccine this coming school year. It now heads to the governor for his consideration.
"This bill will help get more young people vaccinated and give school districts time to put together an immunization plan at their campuses,” said Kehoe. “Protecting public health is one of the government’s biggest jobs, and this legislation reflects our obligation to keep Californians healthy and safe.”
SB 614 would allow 7th through 12th grade students up to 30 days after the school year begins to receive their whooping cough, or pertussis, vaccine. Students who fail to comply will not be able to attend school. Existing law requires students to receive the vaccination before the start of the 2011-2012 school year.
According to the California Association of School Business Officials, some school districts had proof of immunization for only 5 percent of their middle and high school students as of late June. San Diego Unified School District reports a 52 percent immunization rate, but rates at some individual schools are as low as 10 percent.
California reported 10 infant deaths and 9,120 cases of whooping cough last year.