The current school year hasn’t come to an end, but parents should know that before kids return to school next year there is a vaccine that students entering sixth and ninth grade must have.
Students entering sixth and ninth grade must provide proof that they have received a pertussis vaccination, according to the DuPage County Health Department.
Pertussis is easily transmittable through coughing and sneezing and can cause an illness that persists for weeks to months, according to the Health Department. In Illinois in recent years there have been a number of outbreaks.
During grade school protection against pertussis begins to wear off, leaving pre-teens, teenagers and adults at risk for the illness, according to the Health Department. To address the increase in pertussis cases among older students, a booster vaccination, called Tdap, is recommended for all students in grades six through 12.
Students entering sixth and ninth grades without one of the following will be subject to exclusion:
- Proof of Tdap vaccination
- An approved medical or religious exemption on file with the school
Many health providers, pharmacies and health departments provide the Tdap vaccination and parents are encouraged to check with their child’s health provider to determine if a child’s vaccinations are up to date. Adolescents and adults should receive a single Tdap vaccine at 11 years of age or older.
Anyone who may need assistance may check with the DuPage County Health Department for resources for getting the Tdap vaccination.