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Pertussis Vaccine Information


Pertussis vaccine information and requirements

Information courtesy of Los Angeles County Department of Public Health


  • For school year (2012-13) and future school years, only students entering into 7th grade will need proof of a Tdap shot to start school.
  • To meet the requirement, adolescents must have received a Tdap shot on or after their 7th birthday.* This shot protects them from pertussis, which is commonly called whooping cough, and two other serious diseases, diphtheria and tetanus.
  • Some students may be exempted from this requirement if there is a valid medical reason why they cannot be vaccinated or if their parent chooses to exempt them due to their personal beliefs. However, this leaves the adolescent at risk for catching and spreading pertussis.
  • To meet the requirement, the immunization record must show that the adolescent received a dose of Tdap vaccine. Because Td vaccine does not prevent pertussis, a record that reads “Td” or “Td/Tdap” will not meet the pertussis booster school requirement.
  • For 2012-13 Tdap vaccines are required for school entry for all 7th graders, even if they have had pertussis. This is because a person who has had pertussis can get the disease again. 
  • The law took effect the 2011-2012 school year. Getting vaccinated now protects them during the current state epidemic, helps them start school on time, and prevents long waits/delays in the fall. Remember, by law,  7th graders who have not received a pertussis booster (Tdap) shot will not be allowed to start school. 
  • If your child will enter the 7th grade and has not received a pertussis booster (Tdap) shot, make an appointment for him/her to be vaccinated by his/her regular health care provider today.
  • If your child does not have a regular health care provider or insurance coverage for vaccinations, visit or dial 2-1-1 (the Los Angeles County Information Line) for a list of no cost and low cost providers.
  • Use the pertussis booster (Tdap) shot visit as a chance to get your child caught up with any other vaccinations that are recommended. 
  • Keep your child’s immunization record in a safe place. You’ll need to show it to your child’s school to prove that your child received a pertussis booster (Tdap) shot to meet the new school requirement.


See more information, bus pass info, and Immunizations Listing (English and Spanish versions) at