July 31, 2012
From: Lisa B. Hernandez, MD, MPH Molly C. Hubbard, MS
Interim Health Officer 831-755-4585 Immunization Coordinator 831-755-4683
Tdap vaccine is required for all incoming seventh graders this fall.
All incoming seventh graders are required by California Health and Safety Code, Sections 120325-120375 to give their schools documentation of a Tdap vaccine on the first day of school. If they do not provide documentation, they will be sent home.
Last year’s implementation of this law was a much larger task. In efforts to catch up the cohort with incomplete Tdap coverage, all seventh through twelve graders were subject to the law. Over 31,000 students provided proof of vaccination in the fall of 2011 to Monterey County schools. This year, approximately 5,000 seventh graders will provide proof to their schools.
Although it is a smaller number of students who will be seeking vaccination, it will still impact your practice. Students you have not been able to reach in the regular adolescent check-ups will be requesting last minute appointments in late summer. Consider the following strategies to manage the increase demand for vaccination:
- Utilize reminder recall functions in your electronic health records or CAIR (the State IZ Registry) to schedule unvaccinated seventh graders now
- Increase the number of walk-in appointments in the two weeks preceding your nearest school start date. Each school starts at a different time. A “Master Calendar of Schools” can be found at the Monterey County Office of Education homepage under the “What’s new” section: www.monterey.k12.ca.us
- Make sure you have plenty of Tdap and the other age appropriate vaccines on hand. The most current vaccine schedules can be found at: www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/hcp/child-adolescent.html
- Clearly document the vaccinations for school staff that are not familiar with medical terminology to reduce patients returning to your practice
- Visit www.shotsforschool.org/providerinfo.html for recall templates/scripts, medical exemption regulations and information on this and other school immunization laws.
- Resources to education of vaccine hesitant parents can be found at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/spec-grps/hcp/provider-resources-factsheets.html or www.immunize.org/handouts/