Department of Health to provide Tdap booster shots for seventh grade students

BENTON — Arkansas Department of Health is alerting parents that Arkansas children will be required to receive a Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis (Tdap or whooping cough) vaccine before entry into seventh grade per state regulations.

Arkansas continues to see a high number of Pertussis cases around the state; therefore, the two-year minimum interval allowed within the Rules and Regulations Pertaining to Immunization Requirements is being followed.[more]

If a student has already received a Tdap vaccine or has received a Tetanus vaccine within the last two years, the Tdap vaccination will not be required at this time. The parent/guardian will need to furnish the school nurse documentation to prove that the student received a Tdap previously or a Tetanus shot in the past two years.

According to Eydie Abercrombie of the Arkansas Department of Health said the Saline County Health Unit will be at Bryant Middle School on May 12 and Bethel Middle School on May 19 to provide Tdap vaccines.

If a parent does not want the student to receive a Tdap vaccination, then the parent must request an exemption from the immunization requirement before the start of the 2010-11 school year. Exemption forms may be requested from the Immunization Section of the Arkansas Department of Health at 501-661-2169 or via email at .

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