Beginning with the 2013-2014 school year, all Iowa students born after September 15, 2000 and entering 7th grade will need to show proof that they have received the Tdap (Tetanus/diphtheria/acellular pertussis) vaccine. The Tdap vaccine helps protect against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough).
There are many benefits to receiving the Tdap vaccine. It can keep your child safe from getting tetanus, diphtheria or pertussis. Complications from tetanus include broken bones, breathing problems and even paralysis. Diphtheria causes difficult breathing and swallowing and may even lead to severe heart problems, which can be fatal if left untreated.
Whooping cough is contagious and can cause a prolonged cough. This illness may also lead to pneumonia and hospitalization. In 2012, there were 414 cases of whooping cough in Linn and Johnson counties, and over 1600 cases in the state of Iowa. The Tdap vaccine is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of whooping cough.
The Tdap vaccine is actually a booster for immunizations many kids have already received. It’s available under two brand names: Adacel and Boostrix. The shot is typically given in the arm, and the most common side effect is pain and redness at the injection site.
While you’re updating your child’s immunizations, make time to update your immunizations. All adults and teens should receive a one-time Tdap booster. CarePro Pharmacists are happy to administer adult Tdap vaccinations, and we’re glad to answer any Tdap questions you may have.
The Iowa Department of Public Health has developed a Frequently Asked Questions page for more information about the new requirement.