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Schools racing the shot clock

jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

The deadline is fast approaching for middle and high school students at all county school districts who still need to receive a booster shot protecting them against whooping cough. Those students who don’t get the shot won’t be able to attend school.

A state law requires that all students in seventh through 12th grades get a whooping cough booster shot or a signed exemption within 30 days of the first day of school.

Last year, San Luis Obispo County had the most cases of whooping cough, or pertussis, in the state. There were 374 confirmed, probable or suspected cases.

Paso Robles students who do not have the booster will be sent home starting today.

As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, 227 students of the district’s 3,248 seventh-grade through 12th-grade students had yet to receive the booster shot.

The district held an immunization clinic at Flamson Middle School on Wednesday afternoon to reach out to those families who had not yet complied.

As of Wednesday, about 85 percent of students at Atascadero Unified schools were in compliance with the vaccination requirement, said Stacey Phillips, executive assistant to the district superintendent.

About 380 students still needed the vaccine as of about 2 p.m. Wednesday.

However, the district offered free booster shots Wednesday afternoon at Atascadero High School, so that number was to likely drop, Phillips said.

Students will be sent home starting Friday if they have not yet turned in documentation showing they received the shot.

Out of 3,239 students in the San Luis Coastal Unified School District, there are approximately 208 who still have to get their shots, nurse Judith Geyer said. She said students have until Friday.

Geyer said the school district has been calling families of those students warning them of the looming deadline. Students without the vaccination or a waiver will be sent home Monday if they show up at school, Geyer said.

Over the past few days, staff with the Lucia Mar Unified district whittled the number of students who still needed the shot from 20 on Friday down to zero by Wednesday.

District nurse Linda Hogoboom confirmed that the last remaining student turned in the required paperwork.

Reach AnnMarie Cornejo at 781-7939. Stay updated by following @a_cornejo on Twitter. Reach Cynthia Lambert at 781-7929. Stay updated by following @SouthCountyBeat on Twitter.

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