ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – News 4 is making sure parents aren’t caught off-guard by a new law. The law requires some kids in Illinois to be vaccinated against whooping cough.
The new law applies to students starting the 6th and 9th grades this school year. The T-DAP vaccine is also a booster for tetanus and diphtheria.
Whooping cough cases have been on rise, and health officials want to take every precaution they can. According to the Centers for Disease Control, pertussis (whooping cough) cases rise to epidemic levels every three to five years. Recent outbreaks in Illinois lead to the new vaccine requirement.
The bacterial infection is highly contagious. It can be deadly to infants and can cause serious illness in older children.
It’s spread by usually respiratory secretions, air droplets generally,” said Marsha Wild of the St. Clair County Health Department. “If we come into contact, relatively close contact with someone with it, we can pick it up quite easily.”
Unless a medical or religious exemption has been approved, parents have until October 15 to show proof that their kids received the vaccine.