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Vaccinations and seasonal illnesses

Vaccinations

Vaccinations for diseases such as measles and whooping cough are a requirement for students to attend SFUSD schools.

Personal belief exemptions

California Senate Bill 277 (SB 277) eliminates personal and religious exemptions from immunization requirements for children in child care and public and private schools.

The law will allow personal belief exemptions (PBEs) submitted before January 1, 2016 to remain valid until a student enters:

  • TK/Kindergarten
  • 7th grade

Out-of-state PBEs will not be valid. The following exempt categories will not have to meet existing immunization requirements for entry:

  • Home-based schools
  • Students enrolled in an independent study program who do not receive classroom-based instruction.

Read frequently asked questions about personal belief exemptions or contact the SFUSD Nurse of the Day at 415-242-2615.

Students are encouraged to first seek vaccinations with their primary health care provider.

Parents/caregivers can obtain needed vaccines by going to:

  • The student’s health care provider
  • Public health and low-cost clinics
  • The Family Health Center (FHC) Healthy Children Vaccination Program (English, Español and 中文) at SF General Hospital (SFGH). For appointments, call 415-206-2363.
  • SFUSD’s School Health Center (priority for students covered by Medi-Cal or who have no insurance) on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. For appointments, call 415-242-2615.
  • Parents must bring their student and current vaccination records. If you have any questions, call School Health Programs at 415-242-2615.

Measles

For information about measles and vaccinations, consult the San Francisco Department of Public Health (DPH) on basic facts about measles or their FAQ on the current outbreak.

Enterovirus-D68

You've probably heard on the news that Enterovirus-D68, a virus that causes respiratory illness, has been diagnosed in the Bay Area. The San Francisco Department of Public Health is working with local hospitals to identify and conduct testing on children hospitalized with serious respiratory infections.

Here are some things that are good to know about Enterovirus-D68:

  • Enterovirus-D68 causes symptoms that are similar to the symptoms of a cold or flu, such as cough, sneezing, runny nose, body aches, and fever.
  • Most Enterovirus-D68 infections are very mild. However, a small number of people may have more severe symptoms like severe wheezing or difficulty breathing. If your child has wheezing or difficulty breathing, seek medical care promptly.
  • Enterovirus-D68 is thought to spread from person to person when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
  • Measures used to protect one from colds and flu, such as frequent hand washing and staying home when ill, also work for enteroviruses.
  • Hand washing with soap and water is preferred and works better against enterovirus than hand sanitizer.

During cold and flu season, the single most important prevention strategy for colds, Enterovirus-D68, and flu is frequent hand washing. And don’t forget to get a flu shot for yourself and your children!

Seasonal Influenza

Seasonal influenza symptoms can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, fatigue and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea, fever.

The spread of this flu can be minimized by covering your sneeze and cough, frequent hand washing, and getting a flu vaccine yearly

If your child has influenza symptoms, please call your child's school each day he or she is ill to let staff know your child will not be in school that day. Your child should stay home until at least 24 hours after he or she no longer has a fever or signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medicine.

 

Viral Gastroenteritis

Viral gastroenteritis is sometimes called "stomach flu,” but it is not related to  seasonal influenza. It commonly causes diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and stomach cramping.

If your child has gastroenteritis symptoms, please call your child's school each day he or she is ill to let staff know your child will not be in school that day. Your child should not return to school for 48 hours after the symptoms are gone.