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Pertussis Immunization Requirement

Joint letter from the California Department of Education and the California Department of Public Health regarding the pertussis immunization requirement.

, State Superintendent of Public Instruction
1430 N Street, Sacramento, CA, 95814-5901

, Director
1615 Capitol Avenue, Sacramento, CA, 95814

February 10, 2012

Dear County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators:


The California Department of Education (CDE) and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) thank you for your diligence in assuring that pupils in grades seven through twelve in the 2011–12 school year have met the new legal requirement for a booster immunization against pertussis (whooping cough). California schools and health care providers have immunized and reviewed documentation for more than three million pupils, representing one of the largest immunization efforts in California’s history. Implementing this unprecedented requirement has necessitated hard work during challenging times. Your dedicated efforts are greatly appreciated and will protect the health of pupils, schools, and communities.

For 2012–13 and future years, the pertussis booster immunization law will apply to students entering or advancing into grade seven. Schools should inform current grade six pupils to get a pertussis booster shot, if needed, as soon as possible. To reduce the workload during the back-to- school period, it will be helpful to collect immunization records during the remainder of the current school year from students who will be in grade seven in 2012–13. It is also recommended that school employees and volunteers receive a pertussis booster to protect themselves and their contacts.

Thank you again for your efforts to protect the health of your pupils.

If you have any questions regarding this subject, please contact Dr. Eileen Yamada, Public Health Medical Officer, CDPH Immunization Branch, by phone at 510-620-3737 or by e-mail at; or Linda Davis-Alldritt, School Nurse Consultant, CDE Coordinated School Health and Safety Office, by phone at 916-319-0284 or by e-mail at [Note: the previous contact is no longer valid. Please contact the Coordinated School Health & Safety Office at 916-319-0914.]. For additional information, please visit the CDPH Shots for School Web site at


Tom Torlakson
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
California Department of Education

Ron Chapman, MD, MPH
Director & State Health Officer
California Department of Public Health


Questions:   Coordinated School Health & Safety Office | 916-319-0284
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, July 28, 2015
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