Dtap Vaccine... To be Soon Injected Into a 7th Grader Near You

Submitted by SadInAmerica on Sat, 04/02/2011 - 10:38pm.



Concerns over the spread of whooping cough in the United States, the Oklahoma State Department of Health is taking preventative measures by making sure all students entering the 7th grade this fall get the Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and acelluar pertussis) vaccine. ~ Andrew W Griffin

According to a recent Department of Health press release, Commissioner Terry Cline said that his department is "hopeful that this new vaccine requirement will help assure our students, families and communities are protected against this dangerous disease."

It is also required for seventh graders entering school for the 2011-2012 school year.

The press release also explains that whooping cough, also called pertussis, as a "potentially deadly infection that can strike persons of any age," but is particularly hard on babies. It notes that those infected with pertussis "experience severe coughing fits that may last over a period of months."

Curious about this Tdap vaccine, Red Dirt Report spoke with Stephanie Natt, the regional immunization coordinator for the OSDH.

Natt said that while the vaccine is required for incoming seventh graders this fall - and eventually all students by the year 2016 - children can opt out for medical, religious or personal reasons.

"People obtain their exemption forms at their school or day care. From there the filled-out forms will be submitted to the State Health Department," Natt said.

Asked if there have been calls from the public inquiring about the new Tdap vaccine requirement, Natt said most had been about the difference between prior vaccines addressing whooping cough/pertussis and this new vaccine.

"We've been educating the public on this and telling them there's really no difference, it's just a little more to boost your immunity," Natt said.

The vaccines, Natt said, will be available at your doctor's office or county health department and are manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur and GlaxoSmithKline. Typically, Tdap vaccine is routinely recommended for all children at 11-12 years of age.

The OSDH press release also states: "There is no grace period allowed for students to comply with this requirement with the exception of military children transferring from another state. Military children may be allowed up to 30 days from the date of enrollment to obtain state required immunizations. All other students must receive the vaccine and present an immunization record before entering the seventh grade."

Interestingly, the OSDH press release also urges parents to make sure their child gets a meningitis and HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine as well.

Considering the negative press the HPV vaccine has been receiving, like Gardasil, with side effects including everything from seizures and strokes to paralysis and even death.

"We don't monitor the bad reactions," Natt told Red Dirt Report, noting that she was aware there were cases of bad reactions to the HPV vaccine. "The chances (of a bad reaction) are very slim. The benefit outweighs the risk."


Andrew W Griffin - March 31, 2011 - RedDirtReport


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Submitted by SadInAmerica on Sat, 04/02/2011 - 10:38pm.