Getting kids back to school is just one priority for parents. Another is making sure kids are caught up on their vaccinations.
Many schools report that the biggest gap in school immunizations is with the Tdap, a vaccine that boosts protection against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough) and is required for entry into the sixth grade.
In July, the Madison Metropolitan School District sent 1,200 letters to parents of incoming sixth-graders who still needed their Tdap boosters. Other districts will be taking similar actions over the next couple of months.
"Whooping cough is particularly hard on kids. While it looks like a common cold in the beginning, severe coughing soon follows. Even with treatment, extreme coughing fits may last several weeks," said Immunization Specialist for Public Health-Madison and Dane County Diane McHugh, RN.