Iowa students must get whooping cough booster

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — The approach of school will mean a shot for thousands of Iowa students.

The Sioux City Journal reports ( ) the Iowa Department of Public Health is requiring that seventh graders get a booster vaccine for whooping cough before they return to school.

The rule approved earlier in the year came after a surge in whooping cough cases throughout Iowa. The bacterial disease, also known as pertussis, can worsen over several weeks before developing into uncontrollable coughing spells.

Iowa students also are required to be vaccinated for polio, measles and rubella, hepatitis B and chickenpox.

Bethany Kintigh, the state health department’s program manager for immunizations, says parents must show proof of immunizations unless students receive a religious or medical exemption. Last year, less than 2 percent of kindergartners had an exemption.


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