Parents: Preteens Need the Tdap Booster Before Heading Back to School

teen back to school vaccinations To keep children healthy, most states require that school-age children be immunized with the Tdap vaccine prior to entering the seventh grade. RediClinic explains more about Tdap vaccine and why it is one of the vaccinations required for preteens.

The Tdap Vaccine

Tdap is a combination vaccine that immunizes against three serious bacterial diseases that were once very common in the United States: tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis (whooping cough). The Tdap vaccine is a booster vaccine that complements DTaP, the vaccine formulated to protect babies and children younger than age seven from the same three diseases. One dose of Tdap is routinely given to preteens at age 11 or 12.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that since DTaP and Tdap vaccines became available, reports of cases of tetanus and diphtheria have dropped by about 99%. Reports of whooping cough cases have dropped by about 80%.

Why Kids Need a Tdap Booster

As children get older, the protection offered by the DTaP series starts to wear off. Tdap offers older children, teens and adults continued protection from tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough. Maintaining immunity is very important, because outbreaks of these diseases still occur. In particular, the number of whooping cough cases has risen in recent decades. In 2012, the most recent peak year, more than 48,000 cases of whooping cough were reported in the United States. By contrast, just over 1,000 cases were reported in 1976.

Get Immunized at RediClinic

Older children can get the Tdap booster shot at RediClinic beginning at age 11. Teens and adults who have not received a dose of Tdap, or for whom immunization status is unknown, should get a single dose of Tdap as soon as possible.

Get a head start on back-to-school health! RediClinic offers a full range of required vaccinations to keep all members of your family healthy, along with walk-in school physicals. RediClinic treats patients age 18 months and older. Make an online appointment or walk in today!