Parents opt out of whooping cough vaccine

FRESNO, Calif.

To keep up with a new state law, school districts across the Valley are holding Whooping cough vaccination clinics. Two Valley districts already hit their deadline for the tdap shot and two more will reach theirs soon.

Tuesday is the last day students in Fresno Unified can go to school without being in compliance with the state vaccination law.

The shot seemed quick and painless for these Visalia Unified students. Many received the vaccine at a clinic in Redwood High School's cafeteria Monday.

"It was very easy, we got here, we came in and filled out the paperwork and got their shot," said parent Anne Greene.

Greene's 8th and 10th grade boys both missed school Monday. She said she was confused about their vaccination records, until she talked with the district. "Now they're ready to go back to school," Greene said.

The boys are not alone. About 400 others had also missed class.

"If they didn't have documentation then we had to call parents," said Suzie Skadan, lead nurse at Visalia Unified. "And a lot of them brought it in so the student could go to class."

In Visalia Unified, about 200 parents chose not to have their children get the vaccine. That is just a small portion of the district's more than 12,000 students required by law to be vaccinated.

Back in Fresno, Laura Magill opted out as well. "I [don't] believe that just because the medical community or government tells us to get shots for our children we should just go out and do it, without doing proper research first," Magill said.

Clovis and Fresno school districts said they do not know how many of their students have opted out of these shots. But, they said it's also a small percentage.

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