Pertussis, or whooping cough, is a highly contagious and sometimes fatal bacterial disease which has increased alarmingly in the past decade. All students 11 years of age and older who are entering the sixth grade in Alabama schools are required to have a tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine.
Students entering the seventh and eighth grades during the 2012-2013 school year who did not receive the Tdap vaccination during the 2011-2012 school year are required to have the vaccination.
All students including those 11 years of age or older entering the sixth, seventh and eighth grades are required to have an up-to-date certificate of immunization.
The Tdap vaccine helps to protect adolescents from pertussis which will prevent spreading the disease to family members, other students and school staff. The Tdap school requirement will go up by one higher grade each school year. For example, Tdap is required for students entering sixth,seventh and eighth grades in 2012-2013, sixth through ninth grades in 2013-2014, and up through twelfth grade in 2016-2017.