School district close to Tdap goal

Glendale Unified officials said this week that 99% of students in grades seven through 12 have been vaccinated for pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough.

The announcement followed a months-long campaign to bring the district into compliance with a new state law that requires all secondary students to get the so-called Tdap shot, a three-in-one vaccine that protects against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis.

“We are comfortable with where we are,” said Assistant Supt. Katherine Fundukian Thorossian. “We have some students who have actually not shown up to school. They have probably gone to another school district.”

Families had until Sept. 27 to show proof that their children had been immunized or their children would be removed from class.

“We did have a few students who did have to leave school on Sept. 28,” Thorossian said. “Most of them came back later that day with proof.”

The district offered numerous free and low-cost clinics in order to get the job done.

“In a few months we will begin the endeavor of getting all incoming seventh graders next year with their booster shots and verification, but a major part of the effort is completed and I am very proud of the work we have done,” Thorossian said.

During their meeting Tuesday, school board members congratulated district staff for getting the inoculations completed in a timely manner.

“Having a student that had to get one of these shots, it is nothing short of a miracle that this happened,” board Vice President Christine Walters said. “I was sure this was a train wreck just waiting to happen and that it was going to cost us significant dollars.”

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