Friday, December 31, 2010

SFGate: New Calif. law requires vaccine for grades 7-12

This from SFGate:

California teens need to be up to date on their whooping cough shots before starting classes next fall in order to be in compliance with a new law.

The statute requires all middle and high school students to be vaccinated against the highly infectious disease, also known as pertussis, prior to the school year that starts in the fall of 2011.

State public health medical officer Dr. Eileen Yamada says students in public and private schools will need to show proof of a TDAP booster shot before starting school.

"They really will need documentation to get into school, so it's very important to plan ahead, make appointments now, and keep student immunization record in a safe place," said Yamada.

Parents should scrutinize medical records to make sure their children got the TDAP vaccine, which covers pertussis, and not just the TD vaccine.

Read the full story


  1. why can't the doctors upload the info (after an appropriate release is signed) into a centralized SF school database so students' parents don't need to keep track of the paperwork?

  2. Um, is it really that hard to get a form from the doctors' to the school?

  3. I would never again get the TDaP vaccine for my kids. I had it this year and had a severe auto-immune reaction that left me partly paralyzed for weeks, and six months later I still have lasting side effects. Research the TdAP online before shooting your kids up with it. Meanwhile, there were just 5,000 or so cases of petrussis in CA last year, and a few deaths in very small babies. Not exactly an epidemic. Inform yourself by researching online before getting any vaccines.

  4. Why wait until 7th grade? If your child is age 11 (like most 6th graders), I would get it ASAP. My daughter is 11 and got it in October. I got mine last year after having a cough so bad that I thought I broke a rib. Do it for the little babies that can't be immunized until they are 6 months old.

  5. 10:44 - your numbers are off by 50%

    oh and the rest if us got your kids covered, so you can thank us. Just keep your kids away from old people, babies and hispanics when they catch it. Think you can do that? Unlikely. Thanks for you participation in lowering the human population via your fear mongering.

  6. 10:44 is an ignorANUS.

  7. 10:44, I'm sorry to hear about your autoimmune issues, but correlation does not equal causation. In the meantime, I hope the rest of SFKFiles readers will have the good sense to vaccinate their children. In the meantime, the last time we had such a high incidence of cases of pertussis was 1958. Not an epidemic, perhaps, but the return of a deadly disease. And if your child were one of those "few deaths in a small number of babies" you might not be so casually dismissive.

  8. Oops, one too many "in the meantimes." Sorry!

  9. I got whooping cough in 2005, when there was a spike in cases in California.

    It is a gruesome and terrible disease. You can break ribs from the coughing. I burst blood vessels in my face from coughing. Worst of all, the coughing continues irregularly for a long time afterwards, even if you are feeling better. I had a coughing fit a couple of weeks after going back to work - in my classroom, all alone with twenty children. It was a horrible, frightening experience for them and for me.

    Herd immunity is very important. Please think of the children around your child and the adults in their school community.

  10. Waldorf school are hotbeds of immunization resisters and hotbeds of pertussis outbreaks. Just noting that for parents who are considering a school. Those who rely on herd immunity because other parents vaccinate their kids are both a threat to public health and need to do some serious soul-searching about their personal morals and values.

  11. Get any vaccine you want, it's your choice. But I can tell you that getting Guillain-Barre syndrome is absolutely terrifying. Being paralyzed from the waist down is very very scary. I didn't think it could happen to me either. I used to be pro-vaccine, got every shot for my kids, and then I was one of the "rare" people to get Guillain-Barre from the TDaP. It happens MUCH more frequently than the doctors tell you; about 1-10% of negative vaccine effects are reported to the VAERS. For example, my GB was never reported. I cannot in good conscience risk my kids getting GB or any other neuro disorder from TDaP.

  12. "Get any vaccine you want, it's your choice. But I can tell you that getting Guillain-Barre syndrome is absolutely terrifying."

    Epidemiologists base their risk assessments of vaccine safety on incidents reported on the VAERS system. If you're concerned about Guillian-Barre and the safety of TDaP, and your clinician also believes there was a link between the TDaP vaccine and your indicent, then *get your incident reported*, which is used by thousands of researchers and clinicians, rather than complaining on a blog read by a few dozen, almost all of whom aren't working on vaccine safety. It's your moral duty.

    But as said above, if it was a choice between Gullian-Barre and my kid dying of whooping cough, I'd take Gullian-Barre.

  13. It would be extremely, extremely rare for your child to die from whopping cough. With 10 deaths in very young infants out of 40M people in California, you can do the math on the actual risk of dying from petrussis. And before you choose GB over whooping cough, think about whether you or your child like walking and having a normal life, and whether you'd enjoy suffering from permanent nerve damage and chronic pain. Of course my doctor attributed my GB to the shot! I collapsed on the floor after getting it and was hospitalized immediately. My Kaiser neurologist has 100s of patients who have had neurological reactions to vaccines. Also, the TDaP is contra-indicated for anyone over 65 due to the high risk of neurological problems. My VAERS report is in progress, it's a long process. Please, before you spout off, think of all the people who have been injured by vaccines. Vaccine injury is a harrowing world you do not want to enter. I tell everyone about my experience, why wouldn't I?! I wish every day I had not gotten that shot, but I am grateful this happened to me and not my children. I want to spare others the agony of permanent neurological damage.

  14. My friend's 6 week old infant died of whooping cough. It happens.

  15. "It would be extremely, extremely rare for your child to die from whopping cough. With 10 deaths in very young infants out of 40M people in California, you can do the math on the actual risk of dying from petrussis."

    10 kids, as opposed to 8,000/day pre-pertussis vaccination.

    By contrast, according to the National Academy of Sciences, there were 405,000 kids in the UK given the DT vaccine and zip, nada, zilch got Guillian-Barre. (

    And the risk of Guillian-Barre is 10 x from a natural flu case than from injection, with most Gullian-Barre coming from Epstein-Barr virus or campylobacter jejuni (a drinking water bacterium).

    " I collapsed on the floor after getting it and was hospitalized immediately."

    Guillian-Barre is rapid, but I've never heard of it being *that* rapid. Hours to days is typical.

    "My VAERS report is in progress, it's a long process"

    That's not what you said when you said:

    "For example, my GB was never reported."

    'in progress' is lot different from 'never reported'.

  16. Whatever, not worth fighting about. I'm the one living with permanent neurological damage, not you! Just do your research, everyone, before getting any jab. I trusted doctors blindly when it came to vaccines, and I learned the hard way that many are misinformed of vaccine side effects. My neurologist deals with 100s of people with vaccine-related neuro disorders and she told me that "no one really knows how the immune system will react to vaccines at any given point, and some people get neurological reactions, we don't know why."

  17. Oh, and remember that if your child has an averse reaction to do the reporting to VAERS yourself. Doctors do not report routinely reactions, it's basically a patient-led system. When you or your child is very sick, it's hard to fill out paperwork, get it notarized, signed by doctors, and then faxed. I assumed the doctors would file the report; Kaiser did not, and has not been very cooperative.

  18. DTaP=

    Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis.

    Pertussis is by far the least severe and deadly of these diseases.


    Do have a look at the nice skin lesion in the wiki post.

    Parents never told you about "lock jaw"? My parents happen to remeber it.



    If you or your children do happen to contract one of these brutal and deadly diseases, do us a favor and die at home, rather than burdening our already over taxed hospitals.

  19. Quote: "Epidemiologists base their risk assessments of vaccine safety on incidents reported on the VAERS system."

    This is incorrect information. VAERS is a political, not an epidemiological tool. It was created by politicians as a first line patient reporting tool so that frequently reported side effects could then be followed up on with actual studies. Many of the effects that are reported end up shown as not having anything to do with the vaccines, with which the reporting patients connect them. Many lawyers encourage their clients to report spurious connections, in order to get ready for potential class action lawsuits. One MD even reported that a vaccination turned him into the Hulk, just to show the vulnerability of the VAERS system to misuse and confused misinformation.


    Relevant section from the above source: "The chief problem with the VAERS data is that reports can be entered by anyone and are not routinely verified. To demonstrate this, a few years ago I entered a report that an influenza vaccine had turned me into The Hulk. The report was accepted and entered into the database.

    Because the reported adverse event was so… unusual, a representative of VAERS contacted me. After a discussion of the VAERS database and its limitations, they asked for my permission to delete the record, which I granted. If I had not agreed, the record would be there still, showing that any claim can become part of the database, no matter how outrageous or improbable."

    Please do your homework and don't get sidetracked by the fear mongers, science haters, and greedy ambulance chasers. Yes, there can be side effects, but they are nowhere near what is reported in VAERS.

    P.S.: One mom at my daycare lost a baby to whooping cough. Interesting that anti-vaxers consider even one vaccine induced health problem too much, while glossing over deaths and disabilities from the diseases from which vaccinations can protect us in a rather cavalier manner.

  20. Not only do they gloss over the deaths of real babies, anti-vaxers also consider it perfectly fine to threaten the health of immunosuppressed adults. We're all responsible for protecting those who cannot be vaccinated by being vaccinated ourselves and having our kids vaccinated. You're free not to vaccinate, of course -- just keep your kids in quarantine, please, and out of schools and public places.

  21. Do your research! From 1-10% of reactions are reported, so they are much, much more common than you think. Sure some of the reactions are made up. But I imagine made-up reactions are a very small percentage. When you are sick in a hospital bed thinking you might die, you aren't thinking, hmmm how can I write a really false account of what happened to me? Research, research, research. Don't let anyone make a decision for you about what drugs to take or administer to your kids. Find out all the risks and current research associated with each vaccine. Don't just read the one-page handout from the CDC - actually find out how vaccines work; research which shots are contra-indicated in Europe (most EU countries do not do chicken pox and Hep B, and many doctors are much less sold on the need for the polio shot, for example); research the prevalence of each disease being vaccinated against the efficacy of the vaccine; get a list of all ingredients in your kids' shots and research the tolerable amounts of each of those toxins (adjuvants differ by brand, for example); read forums of those who had reactions; find out which brands have recently altered ingredients in their shots etc.

  22. Vaccination is one of the great medical miracles of modern times. It has altered the whole course of human mortality whether one benefits from the vaccine itself or whether through benefit of living in a society with low rates of infectious diseases.

  23. "When you are sick in a hospital bed thinking you might die, you aren't thinking, hmmm how can I write a really false account of what happened to me?"

    But in such a situation you might jump to conclusions and make causal inferences that are incorrect, just because it feels comforting to give one's suffering meaning by taking on some "cause," even if one is mistakenly extrapolating from anecdotal evidence to humanity at large.

    Especially since there are a lot of snake oil sales people and other vultures on the internet, who are quick to tell you whatever you want to hear, and since most journalist don't have appropriate science training to see that the tradition of "giving everybody a voice" and use "balanced reporting" really backfires, when you pitch methodological sound but boring research against some colorful self-declared renegades.

    Our minds are very vulnerable to self-deception, that's why there are techniques such as large scale double-blind, placebo controlled studies, so we can check up on our hunches and tell what's actually backed up by data and what isn't.

    Jenny McCarthy's "mommy instinct" and hunches of people who decide they have been "injured by a conspiracy of greedy pharmaceutical companies and the CDC" are not enough of a foundation for such important choices. But that's as far as many people's "research" goes...

  24. I wasn't "injured by a conspiracy of greedy pharmaceutical companies and the CDC". I had a severe reaction to the Adacel TDaP vaccine that left me with long-lasting nerve damage. It wasn't a conspiracy, it was a medical reaction to a drug that, like all drugs, carries the risk of serious side effects. Thankfully, I now have a great neurologist who is doing what she can to help me (neurology is a very complex field with few magic fixes). She works with hundreds of people like me in San Francisco who have had mild to severe reactions to vaccines.

  25. The risk of getting Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis is far greater than the very minimal risk of any permanent side effect from vaccination.

    Many people are not being vaccinated for *any* diseases. No polio vaccination. No Rebella protection. No meningitis protection.

    As a person whos grand parents and great grand parents had children die from some of these diseases, I am eternally thankful for the development of vaccines.

    The risk of vaccine is minimal in the extreme. Most of the severe side effects that people have suggested have been shown to be from other causes.

    I'm vaccinated to the hilt and so is my family.

    It's one thing to say that your experienced a rare potential side effect from a vaccination, but entirely another to tell other people that this rare side effect is "common". It's not.

    You are wrong.

    Not being vaccinated exposing you to the possibility of dying a horrible and early death.

  26. Autism Study was a Fraud:

  27. "This is incorrect information. VAERS is a political, not an epidemiological tool."

    Yeah, I'm aware that VAERS isn't a . But if the adverse reaction isn't in , you can't do follow-up studies for verification.

    " I had a severe reaction to the Adacel TDaP vaccine that left me with long-lasting nerve damage."

    You've got 6 cases in VAERS of G-B with Adacel. Compared with the 10-odd folks who die of tetanus alone and the ~50 odd who have to be hospitalized for tetanus in the US, or the ~60,000 newborns that die of tetanus infections. Sounds like a decent tradeoff to me.

    It's unfortunate you had a severe side reaction, but it's still less tragic than the mom above who lost a kid to pertussis.

  28. > Autism Study was a Fraud:

    Not only that, but the author of that study, Andrew Wakefield, was not only earning lots of money from lawyers trying to get "compensation" for their clients' supposed vaccine injuries but was also working on his own, competing vaccine product. After an ethics investigation, he lost his license to practice medicine in the UK. He is currently living in the US, most promoting his book and looking for people gullible enough to consider him a victim and support him. The worst, he'll probably find them...