California school vaccination laws were recently updated and will now require students who are going into 7th through 12th grade (for the 2011-12 school year) to get a Tdap vaccine to protect them against tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis (whooping cough).
Tdap has also been required in most other states already, although there are about 11 states that still don't require it, but in the midst of the California whooping outbreak in the past year, you have to wonder what took them so long to start requiring Tdap.
To be fair, this new law dates back to September 2010. It is likely just now getting more attention because it takes effect on July, 1, 2011 for the next school year. California schools likely want to make sure the word gets out so that all students get their Tdap shot well before the first day of school next fall.
Massachusetts is another state with new whooping cough vaccine school rules for the 2011-12 school year.
Even if not required by your state's school immunization laws though, since Tdap is recommended by the AAP and CDC, be sure to get your child vaccinated with Tdap and protect himself and those around him from whooping cough. Kids should routinely get Tdap when they are 11 to 12 years old, although kids who are 7 to 10 and 13 to 18 can also get Tdap if they are not fully vaccinated against whooping cough already.