COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP/SCRN/WVOC)- South Carolina's public health agency is offering free whooping cough vaccinations next month.
The Department of Health and Environmental Control says the shots will be available at clinics in every county.
Pediatrician and medical consultant with DHEC, Riyadh Muhammad, says the health agency is doing this to help parents and students meet new school requirements.
“All South Carolina 7th-graders are now going to be required to show proof of a Tdap shot in order to attend school,” Muhammad says. “And these mass vaccination clinics are a great opportunity for the parents to get a free Tdap shot for a rising 7th-grader and to meet the new school entry requirements for this academic year.”
The vaccine is a booster to the whooping cough or pertussis vaccine given to infants.
It also protects against tetanus and diphtheria. That protection can diminish by the time children reach age 10.
The vaccine is recommended for youths older than 10, anyone who spends time around infants less than a year old, and pregnant women.
It's also recommended for anyone who hasn't received a tetanus shot or the booster in 10 years.