Attention Parent & School Personnel:
New Tdap Vaccination Requirement For Students

For School Year 2013-2014, students entering sixth through twelfth grades will be required to provide proof ofTdap vaccination in addition to the school physical forms that are required for these grades.

Students in sixth through the twelth grades without one of the following will be subject to exclusion:
    1. Proof of Tdap vaccination
    2. An approved medical or religious exemption on file with the school

Frequently Asked Questions About Tdap Vaccine Requirement for School Entry 
Illinois Department of Public Health 

What is Tdap?
Tdap is a vaccine licensed and recommended to protect pre-teens, adolescents and adults against tetanus, diptheria, and pertussis (whooping cough). Tdap is licensed for routine use on or after the 10th birthday. 

How is the Tdap vaccine rule being implemented in Illinois schools? During school year 2013-2014, students entering sixth through twelfth grades will be required to provide documentation of receipt of one dose of Tdap. 
Please note that students entering six and ninth grades are also required to have school physicals.

What type of documentation of Tdap vaccination* is needed to meet the new requirements?
The following will be accepted:
Note or letter, signed by physician
• Print-out from provider's electronic medical record system
• Certificate of Child Health Examination, specifying exact date of Tdap vaccination.
Note: Exact date of Tdap vaccination is required when providing Tdap Documentation.

What if my child has had the disease of whooping cough? 
Any protection (immunity) developed after having whooping cough wears off, leaving your child at risk for getting whooping cough again.  A dose of the Tdap vaccine is needed to protect your child in the future and to meet the school requirement. 

Instead of getting a Tdap vaccine booster to meet the new requirement, can a student get a blood test to test for protection (immunity) against whooping cough?
No. Testing for immunity is not reliable and will not meet the new school requirement.

How long do you have to wait after your last tetanus vaccine before getting Tdap?
Tdap may be given at any time after the last tetanus vaccine.

What if my child does not have proof of a Tdap vaccine before school starts?
Unless a medical or religious exemption has been approved, your child will be subject to exclusion from school on or before the first day of school. Check with your school district as some have first day exclusion for these requirements.

Where can my child receive Tdap vaccination?
Children should visit their regular health care provider to get the Tdap vaccine and other recommended vaccines as soon as possible. Many providers and most local health departments provide Tdap vaccinations. Uninsured or underinsured students can receive Tdap vaccine through federally qualified health centers. In addition, pharmacies can provide Tdap vaccine to children 14 years of age and older. If you need assistance, please check with the Winnebago County Health Department Pediatric's department at either 815-720-4370 
or log on to, regarding information/appointments for Tdap vaccinations.

Should other students, teachers, school staff and family members also get the Tdap vaccine?
Although, school staff and parents are not required to receive the Tdap vaccine, the Illinois Department of Public Health recommends that all persons 10 years of age and older get vaccinated with Tdap to protect against the ongoing threat of whooping cough. Immunization also helps to protect close contacts, including your infants for whom whooping cough is most severe and sometimes fatal.

*Pediatric DTaP or DTP is only licensed for use in persons less than 7 years of age, but may be accepted if inadvertently administered to students aged 7 and older. Receipt of Td (brand name DECAVAC or TENIVAC) or DT does not meet the new school Tdap requirement because they do not protect against Pertussis.

Resources and Links:

Information for Parents - Illinois Department of Public Health

Immunization Requirement for All 6th-12th Grade Students - News Release 1/24/2013

IDPH - Pertussis Page

Information for Parents - Winnebago County Health Department  
Immunization Appointment Line 
For VFC eligible children (815) 720-4370 $16.00
For non-VFC eligible children Tdap vaccine only
 (815) 720-4264  $55.00 

WCHD's Childhood and Teen Immunization Clinic Information Page 

Attention Parents- New Tdap vaccination requirement for students - News Release 3/22/2012

Information from CDC:

CDC - Pertussis Page 

2012 Recommended Immunizations For Children 7 Through 18 Years Old

Rockford Register Star Article on 5/212013 "State upping enforcement of school pertussis vaccine."

Rockford Register Star Article on 5/9/2012.
"State tries to head off pertussis. Students bound for sixth and ninth grades must show proof of having a Tdap booster."


The Winnebago County Health Department would like to thank the Kane County Health Department, the Illinois Department of Public Health and the LA County Health Department for sharing their print materials for this campaign.