The Illinois Department of Public Health is reminding parents of the new Tdap immunization requirement for all sixth- through 12th-graders for the coming school year.
All sixth- through 12th-graders are now required to show proof of receiving one Tdap vaccine, an immunization against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, or whooping cough. Students must show either proof of having received one Tdap vaccination, must have an appointment to get the vaccine or have an approved medical or religious exemption on file.
Last year, only sixth- and ninth-graders needed to receive a Tdap vaccine. Students who received the Tdap immunization last year or anytime since 2005 simply need to show proof of having received the vaccine.
The state has seen an increase in whooping cough cases in recent years, said Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck, director of the state Public Health Department.