This week, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health launched a multimedia public education campaign urging parents and caretakers to get their whole family vaccinated. The campaign, called “Stay Healthy. Vaccinate.,” uses print, television and radio spots, and will provide interactive content and information through Facebook and YouTube. The campaign also features its own website, vaccinateLA.com.
“Vaccines save thousands of lives each year and are the best way to protect your children and the community against serious diseases such as influenza, measles, polio, and whooping cough (pertussis). Choosing not to vaccinate your children can have serious consequences,” said Jonathan E. Fielding, MD, MPH, Director of Public Health and Health Officer. “Los Angeles County is currently experiencing the worst epidemic of whooping cough in 60 years, with more than 870 cases last year alone. We encourage everyone to talk to their doctor about the right vaccines for their children and themselves.”
A new California school immunization law will take effect on July 1, 2011, requiring all students in 7th through 12th grades in public and private schools to show proof that they have received a pertussis booster (Tdap) shot in order to attend classes in the 2011-12 school year. The pertussis booster (Tdap) shot protects against pertussis, which is sometimes called whooping cough, and two other serious diseases, diphtheria and tetanus.
“Avoid the back-to-school rush, and make sure your children are protected right away,” Fielding said. “Call your doctor or your primary healthcare provider to make an appointment as soon as possible, and avoid delays in starting school.”