TAHOE/TRUCKEE — Whooping cough (pertussis) has been widespread in California. A new California law now requires students to be vaccinated against whooping cough before starting school on August 31.For the 2011-’12 Tahoe Truckee Unified School District school year only, all students entering seventh through 12th grades will need proof of an adolescent whooping cough booster shot (Tdap) before starting school. Thereafter, in future school years, only students entering seventh grade will need proof of an adolescent whooping cough booster shot.By law, students who do not have proof of receiving a Tdap booster shot will not be able to start school until proof is provided to the school. The tetanus-diphtheria booster shot, Td, will not meet the requirement.We want to make sure your child starts school on time. We urge you to:1. Review the options for receiving this vaccine locally by clicking the links at the end of this story for more information.2. Get your child’s Tdap shot now. Avoid the back-to-school rush. A large number of students still need a Tdap shot between now and the start of school next year. The clinics scheduled to be held at the school sites this week will only have a limited number of vaccinations. If possible, please make every attempt to vaccinate your child through your family physician’s office or at one of the other locations.3. Save your proof of immunization. Your child will need to provide proof of immunization in order to start school. The office will need a copy for their records. We ask that you bring proof of immunization to your child’s school site by Aug. 30, 2011. Be sure to keep the written proof of your child’s Tdap booster shot in a safe place.For information, contact your physician, or go to www.shotsforschool.org/parents_faq.html. The district website, www.ttusd.org, also has the latest information.