Tdap vaccine now required for middle and high school students - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Tdap vaccine now required for middle and high school students

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SPRINGFIELD (WREX) -

All sixth through twelfth grade students in Illinois are now required to receive a Tdap vaccine to protect them from tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis.

The requirement is recommended by the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Illinois State Board of Education, and the Immunization Advisory Committee. It was recently approved by the Illinois State Board of Health.

"We've seen an increase in pertussis, or whooping cough, in Illinois during the last six years. Medical experts have found whooping cough has been on the rise in pre-teens and teens, indicating a waning immunity from infant and childhood immunizations," said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck. "To combat the rise, last year Illinois required sixth and ninth grade students to receive the vaccine. For the 2013-2014 school year, the State is expanding this prevention effort and requiring all sixth- through twelfth-grade students to receive a Tdap booster shot."

In order to attend school, students must show proof having received the vaccine, have an appointment to get the vaccine, or have an approved medical or religious exemption on file by October 15, 2013.

Students who received the vaccine last year or previously do not need to get another vaccine, but they must show proof that they received it before.

For more information on pertussis, click here. For more on vaccines and school requirements, click here or here.

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