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home : local news : local news April 24, 2015

10/2/2013 2:10:00 PM
Plenty of Tdap vaccine locally
A shortage of an essential childhood vaccine has yet to hit Crawford County.

Illinois education officials are informing schools about a national shortage of the Tdap vaccine that is required for students in grades six through 12.

The Tdap vaccine protects against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough.

"We are aware of the nationwide shortage but, so far, we have been able to meet the local demand for Tdap vaccination," Crawford County Health Department Nursing Supervisor Terry Shaffer said.

Pertussis has made a comeback in recent years, with Illinois seeing more and more cases.

As a result, the state now requires all students in grades six through 12 to show proof of receiving one dose of Tdap vaccine. Students who do not provide proof will not be allowed to attend school.

The Illinois State Board of Education sent a memo this week to school nurses, principals and district administrators saying the vaccine shortage will be considered when deciding if a school is in compliance with the required vaccination protocols.

The state board says schools won't face sanctions if a student's health record includes a statement from a health provider saying the student wasn't vaccinated because the vaccine wasn't available.

The student must also have an appointment to get the vaccine during the school year when the vaccine becomes available.

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