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Pertussis Information

Pertussis is a bacterial infection of the lungs and spreads from person to person through moisture droplets in the air, probably from coughs or sneezes. A person with pertussis develops a severe cough that usually lasts four to six weeks or longer.

DTaP and Tdap vaccine is the only medical prevention

  • All students 11 and older entering the sixth grade in Alabama schools must have a tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine. Each pupil 11 or older who enters the sixth grade will be required to have a new certificate of immunization (COI). The Tdap vaccine will protect adolescents from pertussis and keep them from spreading disease to siblings, other family members and other students. Adolescents who have already received a booster dose of Td are encouraged to receive a dose of Tdap. A five-year interval from the last Td dose is encouraged, but an interval as short as two years may be used if pertussis immunity is needed.
  • New mothers who have never received Tdap should get a dose as soon as possible after delivery. If vaccination is needed during pregnancy, Td is usually preferred over Tdap. Adults who have never received a dose of Tdap should substitute it for their next booster dose.
  • A dose of Tdap is recommended for adults who expect to have close contact with an infant younger than 12 months of age.
  • Healthcare workers who have direct patient contact should receive a dose of Tdap.
  • Review the Advisory Committee of Immunization Practices (ACIP) schedules for children 0-6 years of age, 7-18 years of age, and Adults.

Contact your private physician or local county health department for clinic times for Tdap vaccinations.

CDC Resources


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