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California Legislature extends deadline for whooping cough vaccine

Whooping
Emergency legislation extending the deadline for students to receive the whooping cough vaccination passed both houses of the Legislature on Thursday, setting the stage for a decision by Gov. Jerry Brown.

The afternoon vote in the state Senate was by a margin of 38 to 0.

Earlier, the state Assembly had approved the deadline extension 61-8.

The bill, if signed by the governor, would give students 30 days after the start of school either to obtain the vaccine or to provide proof of vaccination.

The legislation, Senate Bill 614, originally concerned an entirely different subject: Promoting self-defense and safety-awareness training in after-school programs. But the topic was jettisoned after problems that emerged July 5, when some schools began their academic year.

At Huntington Park High, for example, more than three-quarters of students arrived without proof of vaccination. Officials scrambled to get students vaccinated -- or obtain proof of vaccination from them.

For the first time, students in grades 7 through 12 must have the vaccine to remain in school.

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-- Howard Blume

Photo: Mario Arceo, 17, gets the whooping cough vaccine last week at Huntington Park High School. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

 
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