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New state vaccine requirement for students

7th graders must present evidence of Tdap booster by September 30

Posted: September 19, 2013 2:51 p.m.
Updated: September 20, 2013 1:00 a.m.

South Carolina state law mandates that all 7th graders show proof of having had a Tdap booster after their 7th birthday at the start of this school year. Kershaw County School District (KCSD) officials have given students who have not provided new certifications of immunization showing they have met this requirement until September 30 to comply.

"This new state requirement has been in place for over a year," said Kershaw County School District Superintendent Frank Morgan. "We’ve used a variety of methods to make parents aware of this new vaccine requirement but we—like many school districts across the state—still have too many students who are out of compliance."

Families of students who still need to receive the Tdap booster can participate in a special shot clinic at the Kershaw Health Department (1116 Church Street, Camden) on Monday, September 23 from 1 to 6:30 p.m. Walk-ins will be accepted but appointments are recommended. Appointments can be made by calling 1-800-403-4047.

Morgan said that the school district started notifying families at the end of last school year about the requirement and have mailed letters and called families of students who need to supply the necessary paperwork. "We have been able to issue 30 day waivers to these families, but those expire on September 30."

To date, approximately 29 percent of KCSD 7th graders have not supplied new certificates of immunization showing that this Tdap requirement has been met. After September 30, KCSD students without this required paperwork will not be allowed to attend school.

Most states have a similar Tdap immunization requirement as a means to combat the rising cases of whooping cough (pertussis) seen nationwide. Highly contagious, whooping cough is more common among the very young and can be fatal, especially for children under the age of one.

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