Increasing access to vaccines that prevent serious diseases is one of the best ways to help children and adults stay healthy. This school year, South Carolina 7th graders faced a new school entry requirement – showing proof of a TDAP booster vaccine.
The TDAP booster is designed to help protect pre-teens and adults from serious, preventable diseases like tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (also called whooping cough). This new school-aged immunization requirement is based on a recommendation from CDC and SC pediatricians to increase protection against whooping cough, which has been on the rise nationally.
To help ensure that more rising 7th graders are ready for school this fall, our central office team worked with our regional Public Health teams to implement a spring series of vaccination clinics at schools across South Carolina. Offering vaccines at schools not only makes it easier for children to access the vaccine, it also makes it more convenient for parents who would normally have to take time off from work to get their child vaccinated.
The school TDAP vaccine clinics were a big success. Our Public Health teams held clinics in 302 schools across the state between March and May. Our Upstate team led the way, vaccinating 2,420 rising 7th graders, followed by our Midlands team (1,531 students vaccinated), Pee Dee team (1,360 students vaccinated), and our Lowcountry team (1,345 students vaccinated).
Thank you to all of our Public Health staff who helped us bring this important vaccine to thousands of South Carolina school children.