Press Release
July 31, 2013
Melaney Arnold (217) 558-0500

New School Immunization Requirement Reminder for National Immunization Awareness Month

SPRINGFIELD – To kick-off National Immunization Awareness Month in August, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is reminding parents and health care providers of the new Tdap immunization requirement for the 2013-2014 school year.

All sixth- through twelfth-grade students are now required to show proof of receiving one Tdap vaccine, an immunization against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis. Students must either show proof of having received one Tdap vaccination, must have an appointment to get the vaccine or have an approved medical or religious exemption on file. Last year, only sixth- and ninth-grade students needed to receive Tdap. Students who received the Tdap immunization last year, or anytime since 2005, simply need to show proof of having received the vaccine.

“This new requirement for sixth- through twelfth-graders comes at a time when we have seen increases in whooping cough cases over the past couple years,” said IDPH Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck. “Schools are highly susceptible to outbreaks of infectious diseases because students can easily pass illnesses to one another as a result of poor hand washing, uncovered coughs and crowding conditions.”

Vaccination continues to be the single most effective strategy to reduce illness, and even death, caused by pertussis and other vaccine preventable diseases. Children who are not vaccinated are at increased risk for disease and can spread disease to others in their classroom and community – including babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated, and people with weakened immune systems due to cancer and other health conditions.

During National Immunization Awareness Month, check with your health care provider about your vaccinations, and those of your child, to make sure you are up-to-date on immunizations.

Parents or health care providers wanting to inform other parents or health care providers of the new Tdap school requirement, can find ready-to-print posters on our website, as well as other immunization information at

idph online home
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Illinois Department of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
Phone 217-782-4977
Fax 217-782-3987
TTY 800-547-0466
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