Shortage of required back to school vaccine in Pine Belt

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The T-dap vaccine, which protects children from lockjaw and whooping cough, is in short supply in the Pinebelt area.

T-dap is a required immunization for seventh graders and according to officials, the Lamar County Health Department is out of them, and three other health departments in the area are in short supply. A school clinic coordinator said the school system has them in supply.

"Since the Tdap became required in 2012 the state was not prepared because they did not have enough vaccines on hand for the amount of children that we had the only thing I think they could have done was to make it required earlier or start requiring it at a different age group," said School Clinic Coordinator Kizzy Smith. "The state health department should have vaccines but if they have run out, we have vaccines at our school clinic."

Children can be brought to Lilly Burney Elementary school Saturday from 10am - 2pm to get required immunizations.