About 300 seventh graders in Beaufort and Jasper Counties will be turned away from school come Friday, if they do not have their TDaP vaccination by then.
This school year is the first time TDap has actually been required for 12 year olds by the state, though DHEC says it's always been recommended.
On Saturday morning, a free clinic was held at Okatie Elementary School for those who need the shot. At least one parent is grateful for that opportunity, as it can be a hassle to have children vaccinated according to Julie Avant.
“We would've had to find a place to get it done. The doctor's office was out, didn't have any and didn't know when they were going to get any,” says Avant. “We live in Beaufort. The Beaufort DHEC apparently was booked up, and didn't have any openings to come and get it done.”
Were it not for the clinic on Saturday, her seventh grader could have been turned away from school on September 19, the deadline for the TDap.
One middle schooler says he was relieved to get the shot. Otherwise he thinks he would have regretted it.
“That would've felt terrible. I'm only my middle school football team and without me playing, that would've felt terrible for me,” says Michael Mixon.
Sadly, this could be reality for some kids. As of the clinic's close, the school district reports 64 seventh graders got their TDaP.
“We still have some kids that need to get that vaccine,” says Karin Oehring with DHEC. “They can not only get sick themselves and miss a lot of school which we don't want, they can get their teachers sick and can even get smaller children sick.”
Now that the clinic is over, it will up to parents to find a place for their child to vaccinated by next Friday. Out of the numbers released from the school district, about 200 children have yet to get the TDap.