CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Department of Education is reminding parents that students entering seventh and 12th grades this fall will need to visit a doctor or health clinic before school begins to update their immunizations.
State law and West Virginia Board of Education policy now requires seventh-graders to receive a Tdap vaccine booster, as well as a dose of the meningococcal vaccine. High school seniors also must show proof of a single dose of Tdap and a booster dose of the meningococcal vaccine if the first dose was given before the age of 16, according to a news release from the West Virginia Department of Education.
The Tdap shot protects against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, or whooping cough. Whooping cough is a contagious disease that can last for 10 weeks or more and is life-threatening in infants. The meningococcal vaccine prevents bacterial meningitis, a swelling of the lining around the brain and spinal cord that is caused by a serious infection that can become deadly in 48 hours or less.