The health officials have said that as per the new state law, it will be mandatory for all the students of California from grade 7 to 12 to take the whooping cough vaccine before the opening of the schools.
Before the implementation of the assembly Bill 354, it was not necessary for the middle school students in California to get the booster dose for whooping cough or pertussis.
For many years the legislation was put on hold, as it was thought that several thousand dollars would be required to spend on the vaccinations for children under Medi-Cal program, which is the Government's insurance program for the underprivileged children.
According to the health officials, the main reason behind the spread of the disease is that many teenagers have not received vaccination.
It is apposite to note that so far this year, as many as 5,272 people suffering from whooping cough have been reported in California. This year's epidemic has also killed nine infants.
Whooping cough can recur and the number of infections increases in every five years. The symptoms of the disease are same as common cold, which makes it difficult to diagnose.
Dr. Helene Calvet, Long Beach's Health Officer has requested the parents to take their children to hospitals and clinics to get the Tdap booster shots as early as possible.
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