No Class For Many Bay Area Students Without Whooping Cough Vaccine

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Days after state-mandated deadlines have passed for thousands of Bay Area seventh to 12th-graders to prove they’ve received a whooping cough vaccine, school officials say most students have made the cut, while over a thousand others are barred from attending school.

After almost a year of informing parents of the new booster shot requirement, students who have not submitted the necessary paperwork are either being told to stay home or are allowed to attend school and continue to receive vaccine reminders.

A spike in cases of whooping cough—a highly contagious respiratory illness that can be fatal to infants—prompted the new state law requiring middle and high school students to receive the Tdap booster shot.

In West Contra Costa Unified School District, some 1,500 middle and high school students who have not turned in signed vaccination documents were told to stay home Monday, district spokesman Marin Trujillo said.

Some students who came to school without that paperwork were turned away.

“We don’t want to, but we have to,” Trujillo said. “We’ve done everything we can to meet the state requirements and we’re confident we’re going to have full compliance soon.”

Those efforts have included hosting free booster shot clinics at district schools and daily notices to parents of students who haven’t received the vaccine.

Oakland Unified students and their parents have received the same types of notices and access to vaccinations, district spokesman Troy Flint said.

But Flint said OUSD middle and high schools aren’t turning any students away from school, including roughly 1,325 students who missed the Thursday deadline to submit their booster shot paperwork.

“We’re continuing to work with them to stay vaccinated – there are about 40-odd nurses doing vaccinations on-site, and we’re continuing to call parents…this is not a situation where there’s a checkpoint at the door,” he said.

In San Mateo-Foster City Unified School District, which has no high schools, all but 22 of the district’s 2,161 middle school students had turned in proof of vaccination by this morning, student services administrator Tatiana Sandoval said Monday.

Those students were told not to come to school, and their parents were sent additional reminders to sign and submit their children’s vaccination documents.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

  • PLW

    I really feel sorry for the students’ whose parents allowed them to be barred from attending school…. Decent parents should care about their children’s health and education…

  • tn

    When a parent or guardian ignores or hasn’t complied with state-mandated requirements, it is a sad and bad example for the child. Not taking responsibility of immunizing their child so that he/she won’t get whooping cough and spread it to his/her schoolmates, shows either the ignorance or stupidity of whoever cares for that teenager. Shortsightedness and lack of parental responsibility has already hurt their child mentally, and will potentially put their child in a disadvantageous position when they do get sick (i.e. stays out of school for days due to cough, fever, flu symptoms, while already contagious in the onset of this virus when he/she was in school).
    Open your eyes, use your brain and get your lazy but off the sofa and get your child immunized! Even if you have to pay $20 for a shot, think about the time and money you’ll spend treating your kid when he/she does get sick, not to mention, creating a higher probability of getting you sick as well.

  • Johnny

    You people really need to be educated as does KCBS. I was flabbergasted yesterday when KCBS had a so-called –‘expert’ in the medical field discussing the “paranoia” of parents to get their kids vaccinated against certain diseases. He went on to cite this Wakefield study that has been distorted by the media regarding the MMR shots. Here are the facts broken down that even a simpleton can understand:

    1. One size fits all approach to medicine does not work.
    2. Wakefield was not trying to link vaccines with autism. He was studying the gut contents of brain damaged kids. His studies and findings have been duplicated many times.
    3. Jenny MacCarthy is the *mother* of a child that was brain damaged by MMR shots, yet the media makes her out to be a clown because of her resume.
    4. There is a government organization that tracks adverse side effects from vaccines ( It exists for a reason.
    5. Many parents that refuse to get their kids vaccinated do so because of *personal experiences*, not paranoia.
    I have 2 sons. One was born in Europe and the other was born in the USA. The one that was born in the USA had his MMR shot when he was 1.5 years old. Less that a week later he lost 90% of his vocabulary and began to drool non-stop. I don’t need to have a PhD after my name to do the math. My other son received ¼ of the required shots in Europe and he’s fine.
    The definition of stupidity in my book is spending 3 hours arguing with someone about this topic as opposed to spending 3 minutes researching this. You people are so clueless and it’s truly maddening for parents of damaged children to listen to you.

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