300 Charleston Co. 7th graders still don't have TDAP vaccine proof

By Ava

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) More than 300 Charleston County 7th graders could be sent home Monday morning if they don't arrive at school armed with proof of vaccinations.

Hundreds of students were supposed to hand in updated vital records that include the TDAP vaccination. It's a statewide change for 7th graders and hundreds are expected to miss the deadline.

TDAP is a newly required vaccination for all South Carolina 7th graders. In Charleston County Schools, 327 7th graders have yet to show proof of immunization. In South Carolina, it's state law that students cannot attend school until they have the vaccines.

"The students at the end of the day whose parents haven't provided updated immunization information, they won't be allowed to return to school on Monday. Until they do, they risk suspension," said Nancy Baker, a school nurse liaison with the Charleston County School District.

Baker says they started notifying parents last year as 6th graders.

"It's actually an ongoing thing -- students next year that are in the 6th grade who are rising 7th graders will also be required to present updated immunizations," said Dr. Kathryn Arden, the Lowcountry Region's Medical Director for DHEC.

She says the shot is meant to protect the public from the transmission of preventable diseases, including whooping cough.

"Teenagers and adults gradually as time went by became less and less protected even if they had all their child hood immunizations," said Arden.

DHEC has scheduled a clinic for people who need to get their students vaccinated. The clinic starts at 9 a.m. and lasts until 3:30 p.m. at the North Area Public Health Clinic in North Charleston.

To scheduled an appointment, call 843-953-0090.