The Illinois State Board of Health has approved new recommendations from the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois Department of Education to require all students in sixth grade through senior year of high school to have an additional vaccination.
The students will now need to show proof of receiving the Tdap booster shot. The vaccine immunizes against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis.
“We’ve seen an increase in pertussis, or whooping cough, in Illinois during the last six years. Medical experts have found whooping cough has been on the rise in pre-teens and teens, indicating a waning immunity from infant and childhood immunizations,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck in a press release.
Last year, Illinois required sixth and ninth grade students to receive the vaccine.
Students must either show proof of having received this vaccination, must have an appointment to get the vaccine or have an approved medical or religious exemption on file.
Students who do not meet one of these three conditions by Oct. 15, 2013, will not be allowed to attend school until they do.
For the sixth and ninth graders who already received the vaccine, they do not need to get another shot, but do need to show proof of previous vaccination.
Information provided by the Illinois State Board of Education
—Original reporting by Morgan Delack, Barrington Patch
Do you think the state of Illinois should be telling us how to vaccinate our children? Do you think it's fair that those who refuse vaccinations will not be allowed to attend school? Tell us in the comments.