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.
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