AB 354 information to share

Good afternoon,

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Immunization Program is promoting awareness about a new school entry immunization mandate that takes effect July 1, 2011. This mandate requires all incoming 7th _ 12th graders to receive a pertussis booster shot (Tdap) prior to entering school for the 2011 – 2012 school year.  The Tdap vaccine protects against pertussis, diphtheria and tetanus.  In future

years, the law will apply to students entering the 7th grade only.

Pertussis, which is sometimes called whooping cough, is a respiratory infection that causes violent, rapid fits of coughing. It is widespread in California, with more cases reported in 2010 than in any other year

since 1947.

The new law protects children, adolescents and others from pertussis.

Adolescents typically have milder pertussis symptoms but can be hospitalized, miss weeks of school, and spread the disease to infants who are at greatest risk for complications.  Public Health is encouraging adolescents to be vaccinated now to protect them during the ongoing statewide pertussis epidemic, avoid delays in starting school, and prevent long waits or delays in the fall.

I am attaching some available resources:

  1. Fact sheet with answers to questions providers frequently ask about the new law;
  2. The California Department of Public Health’s “Alert to Health Care Providers, Assembly Bill 354 Becomes Law”;
  3. “New Rule, Shots Before School” flyer for parents in English and Spanish that can help your community understand the requirements.

Additional online resources can be found at:

  •  www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/ip/school/pertussisforschool (Educational materials for schools, parents and providers). Providers and parents needing additional information may contact the LA County Immunization Program Nurse on call at (213) 351-7800.
  • www.shotsforschool.org (Providers, schools and parents needing additional information, resources, and forms may visit this web page). This web page also provides information and resources in different languages.
  • Parents may dial the Los Angeles County Information Line at 2-1-1 or visit www.publichealh.lacounty.gov/ip to locate low-cost and no-cost immunization providers.
  •  www.eziz.org (Immunization training and resources)

If you have any questions or need additional information, please feel free to contact

 Maria I. Fernandez, MPH, CHES
Health Rescue Project Manager
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Immunization Program
3530 Wilshire Blvd. Ste. 700 Los Angeles, CA 90010
(213) 351 – 7477 Tel
(213) 351 – 2780 Fax

Thanks for your support in this educational campaign to promote adolescent immunizations.  We are aware of the importance of partnerships in delivering health messages and successful interventions in our communities.

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