Health Plus: New vaccine requirement for students - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Health Plus: New vaccine requirement for students

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

For most parents protecting their children's health means staying up to date with vaccinations.

In Health Plus what you need to know about a new vaccine rule for the upcoming school year.

Vaccines aren't just for young children.

These days health officials want to ensure students are protected well into their high school years.

That's why rules are changing for anyone going into 7th grade this upcoming school year.

 "There was a large outbreak of pertussis over the last two years and this is really a result of that," said Dr. Angela Townsend, Covenant Clinic pediatrician.

The TDAP booster protects against three dangerous diseases: tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough also called pertussis.

Parents need to be aware this booster will be required for students born on or after September 15, 2000.

 "I think it's a good idea, you know, I'm getting it for my kids and so I want the other kids to be protected so they're, you know, not giving anything to my kids that they shouldn't be," said Sue Wulf, a Hudson parent.

"Many of the states around us, in fact all the states around us have a seventh-grade physical requirement not just an immunization requirement," said Dr. Townsend.

The new requirement will be phased in starting with 7th graders this fall.

"The law was passed to try to immunize those children in middle school because that's where the majority of outbreaks were occurring with pertussis or whooping cough," she said.

Covenant Clinic reminds you this vaccine can be given to children as young as ten.

So now is a good time to make an appointment and beat the school rush.

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