A new vaccine combination is ready for Iowa children as parents start checking vaccination records to make sure they’re up-to-date before school starts. Karen Crimmings, a disease prevention specialist at the Cerro Gordo County Health Department, says the new shot will help with cases of pertussis, or whooping cough, which saw outbreaks across Iowa in recent months. Crimmings says the “T-dap” vaccination is a tetanus booster that also contains a pertussis component. She says it’s a good idea for Iowans whose children are scheduled to have a tetanus booster to consider getting the “T-dap” shot instead. The old vaccine requires kids to wait five years before they can get this updated booster, leaving them vulnerable for pertussis for those five years. Crimmings says Iowa’s seen the number of pertussis cases rise in the last few years, and it’s usually in a cyclical pattern. Crimmings says using common sense around people helps stop the spread of pertussis, things like washing ones hands and other good hygiene practices. Pertussis can lead to pneumonia, convulsions, inflammation of the brain, and sometimes death.
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