Tdap Vaccine Shortage May Affect Illinois Schools

CHICAGO (AP) -- Illinois education officials are informing schools about a national shortage of a vaccine that's required for students in grades six through 12.

The Illinois State Board of Education sent a memo this week to school nurses, principals and district administrators saying the Tdap vaccine shortage will be considered when deciding if a school is in compliance with the required vaccination protocols.

The Tdap vaccine protects against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough.

The state board says schools won't face sanctions if a student's health record includes a statement from a health provider saying the student wasn't vaccinated because the vaccine wasn't available. The student must also have an appointment to get the vaccine during the school year when the vaccine becomes available.

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