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Hartselle Enquirer

New vaccination rules in place

Pertussis is a highly contagious and sometimes fatal bacterial disease which has increased alarmingly in the past decade. To help provide protection, all students 11 and older entering the sixth grade in Alabama schools this school year must have a tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine.
Each pupil 11 or older who enters the sixth grade will be required to have a new certificate of immunization. This is because of the change from tetanus-diphtheria (Td) to (Tdap) vaccine.
The Tdap vaccine will protect adolescents from pertussis and keep them from spreading disease to siblings, other family members and other students.
The Tdap school requirement will go up by one higher grade each school year. For example, Tdap will be required for students entering seventh grade in 2011-2012, eighth grade in 2012-2013, up through twelfth grade in 2016-2017.
The number of reported pertussis (whooping cough) cases in Alabama in all ages has increased from 68 in 2008 to 315 in 2009.
Pertussis is a bacterial infection of the lungs and spreads from person to person through moisture droplets in the air, probably from coughs or sneezes.
Contact your physician or local county health department for clinic times for Tdap vaccinations.

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