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Anthem Blue Cross Kicks Off Statewide Series Of Free Whooping Cough Vaccine Clinics In Watts On Saturday
Date:9/2/2011

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Sept. 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- In response to a new requirement that all 7th through 12th graders show proof of receiving a Whooping Cough (Pertussis) vaccine booster, Anthem Blue Cross is sponsoring free clinics in select locations across the state to help low income children receive the vaccine, starting with an event in coordination with Assemblyman Isadore Hall (D-Los Angeles) in Watts on Saturday.

"It's vital that we rally as a community to ensure that our children have adequate vaccinations so they can attend school and prepare for their futures," said Pam Kehaly, president of Anthem Blue Cross. "Anthem Blue Cross strives to improve the health, fitness and well-being of those we serve, and we're thrilled we're able to help hundreds and hundreds of students statewide get this important vaccine."

The first vaccine clinic will be held as part of SEIU ULTCW's 2nd Annual Fresh Start Working Families Community Festival this Saturday, September 3, 2011 at the Ted Watkins Memorial Park, 1335 E. 103rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90002 between the hours of 12 noon and 5 p.m. Vaccines are subject to availability.

The free vaccine clinic is intended for students between 12 and 17 years old. Children receiving the vaccine are not required to be insured by Anthem Blue Cross, and there will be no co-pay or fee for the shot.

"Students must have this vaccination or they won't be able to attend school," said Assemblyman Hall. "I encourage those who haven't had the opportunity to get this vaccination to come down to the picnic on Saturday to get this shot. I also want to thank Anthem Blue Cross for identifying and being part of the solution in addressing this important need for our community."

According to the California Department of Public Health, the diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccine (DTaP) is recommended for children by kindergarten (ages 4-6) and a tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (Tdap) booster by age 12.

State law was changed recently, and students entering 7th through 12th grades are now required to show proof that they have received a Tdap booster. Failure to show proof after a 30 day grace period will preclude the student from attending school. The end of the grace period for most schools falls in the last two weeks of September.

For a child to receive the vaccine, a parent or guardian must be present to complete consent forms.

Anthem Blue Cross sponsored clinics will be located in communities that traditionally lack easy access to health care.  Anthem Blue Cross is working to add additional clinics through the end of September to provide more vaccinations. Those locations will be announced in the near future.

In 2010, Anthem Blue Cross, in conjunction with the WellPoint Foundation and its associates, contributed more than $3.5 million in California causes via donations, grants and other activities to improve the health and lives of Californians. Notable donations include $375,000 to the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness to fight childhood obesity and $225,000 to the March of Dimes to enhance prenatal care.

About Anthem Blue Cross

Anthem Blue Cross is the trade name of Blue Cross of California.  Anthem Blue Cross and Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health Insurance Company are independent licensees of the Blue Cross Association. ® ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc.  The Blue Cross names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross Association. Also follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/healthjoinin, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HealthJoinIn, or visit our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/healthjoinin.


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