Last-minute back-to-school preps include vaccinations

By Melissa Correa - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - With less than 24 hours until the start of school, parents are scrambling to get their children ready. That includes meeting new vaccine requirements.

The T-DAP vaccine covers tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis. The State Health Department is making it mandatory for all 11 and 12 year olds after a nationwide resurgence of the whooping cough.

"The State is requiring children entering the 6th grade to have a vaccine called the TDAP," Dr. Kenneth Lucas with Patient First said.

In the past, it was only required for young children. Now, thousands of 6th graders across the state need to grin and bear it.

"The real surge does not come on the day before school, it usually comes the day after school starts," said Lucas.

The State Health Department and local school districts are taking this requirement seriously. So come tomorrow, if your child doesn't have record of the shoot, they will be stopped from entering class.

Mom Tina Anderson brought in her son Brandon, just beating the deadline.

"We've gotten a couple of reminder phone calls form the schools saying that they won't be allowed at school, they'll be sent home, we'll have to come pick him up," said Anderson.

Between the new vaccine and his good hygiene practices.

"He covers himself when he coughs; sneezes and washes him hands and uses Purell," Anderson said.

She's hopes Brandon's off to a healthy start.

"As long as he doesn't get sick that's the most important thing," she said.

But all Brandon knows, is he needs to proof of his shot to walk thru the halls. And he's already worked up a good story to go with his battle scar.

"The needle was probably about that big, it didn't hurt at all," said 6th grade student Brandon Ballard.

The CDC says it's also a good idea for adults to get the T-DAP vaccine to protect against whooping cough.

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