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      New Tdap shot a requirement for 7th graders

      This year, all 7th grade students must have the Tdap, or whooping cough, vaccination. So, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is offering free shots at vaccination clinics in every county in the state in August.

      The s hot is a new requirement for 7th graders to attend school this year

      "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 7th 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.