Illinois students require additional shot - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Illinois students require additional shot


Getting your kids ready for school means there's a list of things to do. Shopping for school supplies, registering for classes and updating those school physicals.

But, Illinois parents may notice one more thing on their child's checklist-and that's to get a TDAP shot.

There are some new rules on vaccinations parents need to know about.

The TDAP or Tetanus-Diphtheria Pertussis shot is now a requirement for all 6th through 12th grade students.

"The reason for the change is that this particular formulation has more of the pertussis, that's the "P" part of TDAP," says Melanie Nelson, the school nurse at Carbondale Community High School.

Whooping cough, has seen numerous outbreaks among Illinois school children.

Leading legislatures to pass a law requiring the shot.

"People think if they have had a tetanus shot within ten years then they don't think they have to have it," said Nelson. "This is different. Regardless of the interval between now and their last tetanus booster, you do have to get the TDAP."

Nelson says some parents think the shot does more harm than good when it comes to side effects, but she argues that's not the case.

"The risk of a reaction to the vaccine is very small compared to the risk of permanent complications due to the disease," she said.

And with time winding down before the first day of school-parents are urged to bring to bring their child in as soon as possible.

"If you have an appointment to get the physical done that buys you a little bit of grace time, but the deadline for the state is October 15," Nelson said. "If a student has not completed the requirements before that time, they are excluded from school, which means if they show up we send them home," she says.

Even if your child has had whooping cough already, doctors say any immunity developed back then has worn off.

Doctors are also recommending that newborns get the shots.

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