Hundreds of students receive TDAP vaccine

DOWNEY - A host of community groups collaborated over the last month to vaccinate nearly 700 Downey students with the Tetnus-Dyptheria-Pertussis (TDAP) vaccine. The project was in response to a new state law requiring TDAP vaccinations for all 7-12 grade students by early October.The vaccine was provided to the Downey Unified School District (DUSD) through the Vaccines For Children program by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. DUSD staff also contributed to the campaign by making numerous 'dialer' calls, reminding students and parents of the TDAP requirements and deadlines. The goals for the Downey TDAP collaboration were to: •reduce or eliminate any student illness caused by whooping cough •reduce or eliminate any loss of class-time caused by a student who had not been vaccinated •effectively work together in a unified manner to provide an important community health service, and •ensure all 7-12h grade students had an opportunity to get vaccinated before the state law is enforced. Since the beginning of the TDAP campaign, over 75% of the students needing a vaccination have been either vaccinated or have shown proof of their current TDAP vaccination. The TDAP vaccination requirements are the result of a notable increase in the number of students who contracted Pertussis (also known as whooping cough) last year. Public Health officials became very concerned about the possibility of an outbreak and convinced the state to pass a law requiring the TDAP vaccination for a large number of students. The first two clinics were held at Warren High School on Aug. 24 and at Downey High School on Aug. 26. Other clinics were held at the four DUSD middle schools. A final follow-up clinic was held at Downey High on Sept. 14. Rio Hondo College nursing students and medical assistant students from Downey Adult School volunteered their time at the clinics and performed the vaccinations. The registration activities were handled by the members of the Warren High School Red Cross Club and the Downey High ASB Club. Nurses from the DUSD provided health screenings and data management services to all of the attending students. Administrators from the two high schools provided campus access and oversight of the campus activities. Downey private schools were notified of the TDAP clinic campaign and advised of their opportunity to attend the clinics. Some of their students chose to participate. Kaiser Permanente of Downey agreed to cover the cost of the medical supplies required for the clinics. Staff from the Downey Regional Medical Center provided some very appreciated professional guidance and support for the multi-day project. DUSD officials are evaluating the results of the TDAP clinics and considering their next steps as the deadline for all students to have their TDAP vaccinations completed nears. -Mark Sauter, city of Downey

********** Published: September 22, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 23