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SCDHEC to Offer Free Tdap (whooping cough) Vaccinations

Shot is a new requirement for 7th graders to attend school this year

COLUMBIA, S.C. – In an effort to assist parents in meeting new school requirements, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control will offer free Tdap (whooping cough) vaccines at mass vaccination clinics across the state in August, the agency announced today.

Beginning this school year, Tdap is a new school entry requirement for all incoming seventh graders. The free mass vaccination clinics are a great way for parents to make sure their children are ready for school.

“Tdap is a booster to the whooping cough vaccine given to infants, and protects against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis,” said Dr. Riyadh Muhammad, pediatrician and DHEC medical consultant. “Unfortunately, protection against these diseases fades with time, and by age 10, the effectiveness of the original vaccine can decrease, causing the child to be more susceptible to these diseases. This makes the Tdap/whooping cough vaccine an important step in keeping children healthy.”

Vaccinations will be available for everyone, at a clinic location in every county.

In addition to the requirement on rising seventh graders, the Tdap shot is recommended for:

  • Children ages 11 and up
  • Individuals who spend time around babies less than 12 months old
  • Pregnant women
  • Anyone who has not had a tetanus or Tdap booster in the last 10 years

*Dates and times of clinics vary per county. Please click here to find the clinic information for your county.