Whooping cough vaccine required for 7th graders

July 26, 2012 5:38:12 PM PDT
Seventh-graders will need more than books and pencils to start the school year -- they'll need shots to guard against whooping cough.

California law requires all incoming seventh-graders to be immunized against pertussis, along with other dangerous diseases. This comes after California had more than 9,000 cases of whooping cough in 2010, the worst outbreak in 60 years.

According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this could be the worst year for whooping cough in this country in a half century. They say the cough is very contagious and especially dangerous if caught by young children.

Your local health department can tell you where you can find low cost or even free vaccinations.