questions about the Tdap Vaccine
for School Entry Illinois Department of
What is Tdap?
Tdap is a
vaccine licensed and recommended to
protect pre-teens, adolescents and
adults against tetanus, diphtheria and
pertussis (whooping cough). Tdap is
licensed for routine use on or after the
How is the new Tdap
vaccine rule being implemented in
Illinois schools? During school year
2012-2013, students entering sixth and
ninth grades will be required to provide
documentation of receipt of one dose of
note that students entering six and
ninth grades are also required to have
What type of
documentation of Tdap vaccination* is
needed to meet the new requirements?
The following documents will be
• Note or letter, signed by physician
• Print-out from provider’s electronic
medical record system
• Certificate of Child Health
Examination, specifying exact date of
Note: exact date
of Tdap vaccination is required when
providing Tdap documentation.
What if my child had whooping cough
recently or in the past?
Any protection (immunity) developed
after having whooping cough wears off,
leaving your child at risk for getting
whooping cough again. Tdap is needed to
protect your child in the future and to
meet the school requirement.
Instead of getting
a Tdap vaccine booster to meet the new
requirement, can a student get a blood
test to test for protection (immunity)
against whooping cough?
No. Testing for immunity is not reliable
and will not meet the new school
How long do you
have to wait after your last tetanus
vaccine before getting Tdap?
Tdap may be given at any time after the
last tetanus vaccine.
What if my 6th or 9th grade child does
not have proof of a Tdap vaccine before
Unless a medical
or religious exemption has been
approved, or your child has an
appointment to get the Tdap vaccine
during the school year, your child will
be subject to exclusion from school on
or before 10/15/2012.
Where can my child
receive Tdap vaccination?
Children should visit their regular
health care provider to get Tdap and
other recommended vaccines as soon as
possible. Many providers and most local
health departments provide Tdap
vaccinations. Uninsured or underinsured
students can receive Tdap vaccine
through a federally qualified health
centers. In addition, pharmacies can
provide Tdap vaccine to children 14
years of age and older. If you need
assistance, please check with your local
health department for resources for
getting required Tdap vaccinations.
students, teachers, school staff and
family members also get the Tdap
Although school staff and parents are
not required to receive the Tdap
vaccine, the Illinois Department of
Public Health recommends that all
persons 10 years of age and older get
vaccinated with Tdap to protect against
the ongoing threat of whooping cough.
Immunization also helps to protect close
contacts, including young infants for
whom whooping cough is most severe and
Pediatric DTaP or DTP is only licensed
for use in persons less than 7 years of
age, but may be accepted if
inadvertently administered to students
aged 7 and older. Receipt of Td (brand
name DECAVAC or TENIVAC) or DT does not
meet the new school Tdap requirement
because they do not protect against
These FAQs in a printable pdf