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August 1, 2012
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Pertussis vaccines required for Washoe seventh-graders

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — The Washoe County School District is reminding parents that all incoming seventh-graders must be immunized against pertussis (whooping cough) before they will be allowed to attend school this fall. Under state law, seventh-graders are required to receive a “T-dap” (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) vaccine.

“Pertussis is a serious disease that can have devastating health consequences, especially for very young children and other vulnerable populations,” said Dana Balchunas, director of Student Health Services. “We are urging all parents of incoming seventh-graders to have their student immunized as soon as possible so they do not have to miss any school when it starts on August 27.”

So far this year, seven cases of pertussis have been reported in Washoe County. There are a number of options available to parents who want to acquire immunizations for their children:

• They may contact their family physician.

• The Washoe County Health Department provides the vaccine by appointment on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. T-dap vaccines range in cost from $16 to $46, but no one will be turned away because of an inability to pay. To make an appointment, call 775-328-2402.

• Free immunizations for all students will be available at a Back to School Fair on Saturday, August 18 from noon to 5 p.m. at Legends Sparks Marina. Immunize Nevada and Amerigroup Community Care will offer immunizations for all school children between the ages of four and 18 on a first- come, first-served basis. No identification or insurance is required.

“We hope parents will take advantage of these services as soon as possible,” said Balchunas. “It is crucial for our children to be protected against these illnesses so they can stay healthy and stay in school.”

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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Aug 1, 2012 02:34PM Published Aug 1, 2012 02:33PM Copyright 2012 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.