TDAP vaccination deadline looming for area students

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — Parents in Guilford, Alamance, and Davidson Counties only have two more schools days to turn in TDAP vaccination forms. Students without proper documentation will not be allowed in school after September 25th.

The state of North Carolina requires TDAP vaccines for sixth graders. They give students 30 days to bring in forms from the beginning of the year, and the deadline is next Tuesday.

The Guilford County Health Department is offering one last free TDAP vaccine clinic next Tuesday from 8 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Parents can call (336) 641-3245 to make appointments at both the Greensboro and High Point locations.

Sixth grader Montserrat Robledo came to the free clinic Friday to get her TDAP vaccination. She was a little nervous at first, but said the shot was not that bad.

“I have to get my TDAP shot because the school told me if I don’t get it, then I won’t go to more school. I like school and I want to go to school,” explained Robledo.

TDAP vaccinates against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis.

Recent cases of pertussis, or whooping cough, have been reported in Alamance and Davidson Counties this year.

Guilford County Schools Director of Health Robin Bergeron-Nolan explained, “The state started requiring TDAP after they noticed a rash of whooping cough cases. One person who is not vaccinated is at risk for getting it and is also a potential person to spread the disease.”

Bergeron-Nolan says Guilford County Middle Schools have been reminding parents about the September 25th deadline all month through flyers and web updates.

“So far we’re a little ahead of the curve compared to last year this time so we feel good about that. But we still have a ways to go,” said Bergeron-Nolan.

As of Friday, Bergeron-Nolan says 9% of middle school students (more than 600 total) in Guilford County have not turned in paperwork. Last year at this time, they were working with 13%.

“Whooping cough is a serious and potentially, can be, a deadly disease. So we want to prevent the spread of Pertussis amongst our student population and in the community among the adult population as well,” said Bergeron-Nolan.

Guilford County parent Felicia Russell also brought her sixth grader in to the vaccination clinic Friday.

“I believe a lot of people haven’t come out because they probably think it’s gonna take a long time. When I came I just knew it was gonna be a lobby full of people. But it wasn’t!  It’s very easy, it was free, it was quick, takes a couple of minutes,” said the mother.

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