Education

Merced city schools offering free Tdap vaccinations

Dana Brantley, a nurse with the Merced County Department of Public Health, prepares to administer the Tdap vaccination Tuesday to a student at Stowell Elementary.
Dana Brantley, a nurse with the Merced County Department of Public Health, prepares to administer the Tdap vaccination Tuesday to a student at Stowell Elementary. Merced City School District

The Merced City School District has embarked upon a special pilot project to support student health and provide a convenient option for parents.

The district is partnering with the Merced County Department of Public Health to bring Tdap vaccination clinics to all 13 elementary school sites that have sixth-graders enrolled. These clinics are being held on various days during the month of March, officials said in a news release.

Students entering seventh grade during the 2017-18 school year must show proof of having received one dose of pertussis vaccine (given in the form of Tdap, shorthand for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) after the age of 7, school officials said.

Many students in this age group have not received this vaccine.

The district provides parents with information about the need for this vaccination starting in December, but in years past there often has been a “mad dash” in the two weeks before the new school year as parents tried to schedule appointments for their children, officials said in the release.

The district hopes the clinics this month will help to reduce the burden.

The vaccinations are being provided free of charge to students.

Parents and guardians are required to complete and return a consent form. Students will be seen at school, monitored for any vaccine reactions, and returned to class, with little time missed.

Consent forms have already been sent home to all families in the district with students in the sixth grade.

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