State takes shot at new student vaccinations
By Jenette Sturges firstname.lastname@example.org August 18, 2012 9:04PM
Updated: September 20, 2012 6:18AM
New immunization requirements will be in place as the new school year starts in the Fox Valley and across the state.
After a resurgence in cases of whooping cough last winter, the Illinois Health Department is requiring the Tdap vaccination that guards against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis.
Students entering the sixth and ninth grades will need the vaccine by the start of the school year or risk being sent home come Oct. 15.
Already in 2012, more than 1,200 cases of pertussis, known more commonly as whooping cough because of the whooping noise sick children make as they inhale during the cough, have been reported in Illinois. Nationwide, the disease is making a comeback, with 27,550 reported cases in 2010, the most cases of whooping cough seen in the U.S. since 1959, according to the CDC.
The disease is particularly severe for infants, who cannot be fully inoculated against it, which is why health officials across the country are pushing for vaccines targeting school-aged children and are reminding adults to get boosters every 10 years.
For a full schedule of vaccines required for public school students in Illinois go to the Illinois Health Department’s immunization site, www.idph.state.il.us/about/shots.htm, or check with your child’s school.