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Cases of whooping cough high in Palo Alto

Original post made on Jul 2, 2013

A rise in whooping cough cases in Santa Clara County, including many in Palo Alto, has prompted officials to issue a health alert.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, July 2, 2013, 9:40 AM

Comments (11)

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Posted by Jan
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 2, 2013 at 10:27 am

Are they bothering to get shots when they are suppose to? Maybe that would eliminate the problem. Need to conform to the rules and regulations to prevent this!!!


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Posted by Mr.Recycle
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 2, 2013 at 11:50 am

Palo Alto elementary school vaccination rates are pretty good -- except for Fairmeadow. What's up with that school? Reporting error, or do they hate science there?

2012-2013 IMMUNIZATION STATUS OF KINDERGARTEN STUDENTS
100% EL CARMELO ELEM.
100% GREENDELL ELEM. / YOUNG
100% NIXON (LUCILLE M.) ELEM.
98% BARRON PARK
98% HOOVER (HERBERT) ELEM.
98% PALO VERDE ELEM.
96% DUVENECK ELEM.
95% BRIONES (JUANA) ELEM.
94% OHLONE ELEM.
93% ESCONDIDO ELEM.
90% HAYS (WALTER) ELEM.
88% ADDISON ELEM.
19% FAIRMEADOW ELEM.


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Posted by Mom
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 2, 2013 at 1:19 pm

I would think Ohlone would have the lowest rate of vaccinations being the type of liberal school it is.

Fairmeadow must be an error - that's way too low.


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Posted by Tdapper
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 2, 2013 at 1:50 pm

The article states that the average age of affected kids is 13, and that a TdaP booster is required at age 11. That means that it may be coming from the middle schools, not the elementary ones.

It could also be coming from caregivers, as anyone working with or living with children is supposed to ( but may not have been informed) get a TdaP vaccine before doing so.


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Posted by Bob
a resident of Greendell/Walnut Grove
on Jul 2, 2013 at 2:33 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by mattie
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 2, 2013 at 6:41 pm

Man, we need to get those rates higher. Thanks for sharing.

Bob -- I got a solution... let's get folks health insurance!


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Posted by Mr.Recycle
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 2, 2013 at 10:52 pm

Mattie - it has nothing to do with health insurance. These mandatory vaccines are freely available to those who need them. Note that East Palo Alto has better vaccination rates than Palo Alto. The problem is rich white parents who are scared of autism and other nonsense. They spend more time worrying about plastic bags than their child getting and giving other kids whooping cough (selfish and irresponsible). Some of the lowest vaccination rates in the state are in nicest parts of Marin. Also, private schools almost always have lower rates than public schools.

EPA Kindergarten Vaccine rates:
100% EAST PALO ALTO CHARTER
99% COSTANO ELEM.
98% LOS ROBLES MAGNET ACADE
97% EDISON-BRENTWOOD ELEM
97% GREEN OAKS ACAD.

Full list of schools here:
Web Link


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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jul 3, 2013 at 2:20 am

Thank you for the link Mr Recycle. To clarify, the percentages listed above are the children who have completed AND documented FOUR doses of polio, FIVE doses of diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), tetanus, TWO doses of measles, mumps, rubella, THREE doses of hep B, and a dose of chickenpox, within prescribed time intervals.

Apparently 68 of the 84 Fairmeadow kids missed or couldn't document one of them, or haven't quite finished the courses, and are noted as "Conditional Entrants" requiring follow-up. Maybe somebody there was more picky on the paperwork or vague on the instructions. Clearly an outlier that should have an explanation. Interesting.

Notes also show that NONE of the Fairmeadow parents have filed for a "Personal Belief Exemption." Those exercising that privilege are primarily at Addison and Walter Hayes, with Ohlone, Briones and Escondido as runners up.


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Posted by Tdapper
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 3, 2013 at 2:54 pm

Many health insurance plans do NOT include vaccinations for kids over the age of three years. many of the bare-bones plans that employers give do not cover vaccinations at all, for adults or kids. When my daughter was pregnant, her obstetrician told me I would have to be vaccinated for Rubella, Measles, Hep A,B, and C, as well as TdaP, or I would not be allowed by Lucille Packard Choldren's Hospital to hold the baby!!!!

I have a pretty good plan through Aetna, but they would not pay for any of these vaccines. If an epidemic is eminent, the local health departments should hold clinics to give them out for free to middle or low income families!


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Posted by RJR
a resident of another community
on Jul 11, 2013 at 10:57 am

I read the article about high pertussis infection rates when I picked up a P. A. Weekly in front of a local restaurant and was surprised that I did not see anything about the cause for this in the article (July 5 issue). I'm glad that the posts above focus on the likely cause- failure of parents to immunize their children. It is a credit to East Palo Alto, and a disgrace to uncaring Palo Alto parents that this situation exists. Your newspaper should have pointed out this sorry situation in the article.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 20, 2014 at 8:40 am

NY City's policy of excluding unvaccinated children from public school was upheld in court. Perhaps PAUSD could also institute the same policy. It's not a personal belief but public safety at risk.


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