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Tdap now required for all seventh-graders

Posted: July 30, 2013 - 11:42am

Starting this school year, all South Carolina seventh-graders will be required to have the Tdap vaccine. Tdap is a vaccine for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, commonly known as the whooping cough.

The new requirement is an effort to increase the number of children receiving the Tdap vaccine, said Lindsey Evans, of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control’s media relations division.

“According to the National Immunization Survey-Teen 2011, the national Tdap vaccination rate was 78 percent and South Carolina was 59 percent,” she said in an email.

Pupils who do not have a South Carolina Certificate of Immunization documenting that they have received a dose of Tdap after age 7 may receive a South Carolina Certificate of Special Exemption from their school. This exemption will allow 30 calendar days from the date of enrollment for the requirement to be met, said Evans.

“Most children under 6 have received a series of shots to protect them from pertussis,” she said. “However, that protection wears off in 5-10 years. That makes older children, teens and adults more likely to contract the infection and spread it to others.”

Pupils can be exempt from immunization requirements due to medial, religious or special exemptions.

Visit www.scdhec.gov/health/disease/immunization/requirements.htm for more information about South Carolina’s school and day care immunization requirements.

Aiken County

When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday

Where: Aiken Health Department, 222 Beufort Street, Aiken

Phone: (803) 785-2698

Edgefield County

When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday

Where: Edgefield Health Department, 21 Star Road, Edgefield

Phone: (803) 785-2698


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a single dose of the Tdap booster shot for:

• Children ages 7 to 10 who are not fully vaccinated against pertussis

• Children ages 11- to 18-years-old

• Adults ages 19 and older

• Healthcare personnel in hospitals and ambulatory care settings with direct patient contact

• Pregnant women

• Those who have contact with infants younger than 12 months of age

Source: South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control

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