Governor Signs Bill Allowing Pharmacist Immunizations for School Children

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Published on August 23 2012 10:55 am
Last Updated on July 14 2013 12:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Governor Quinn has signed a bill into law allowing pharmacists to administer influenza and TDAP vaccines to children ages 10 to 13, with a valid prescription from a licensed physician.

As part of August being National Immunization Awareness Week, the Illinois Department of Public Health is reminding parents and health care providers that all sixth and ninth graders are now required to show proof of having received the TDAP vaccine before being allowed to attend school.  The shot includes protection against pertussis (commonly known as whooping cough), which has been on the rise in Illinois.  In 2011, health care providers reported 1,509 pertussis cases to Public Health for the entire year.  With five months to go in 2012, providers have already reported more than 1,300 cases of pertussis.

David Vite of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association said pharmacies across the state are ready to make the immunizations available.

Crystal Schutzbach of the Effingham County Health Department said Effingham Unit 40 sixth and ninth graders were told to get the immunizations when they enrolled for the school year.  Schutzbach said the Department still has the immunizations available.

Under the new guidelines, sixth and ninth graders in Illinois must get the TDAP immunizations by October 15 or else they will be excluded from school until they do.