Iowa seeks booster shots for whooping cough

Published On: Sep 13 2012 01:28:38 PM CDT   Updated On: Sep 13 2012 01:22:09 PM CDT
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -

Iowa public health officials want next year's seventh-graders to get a booster shot for whooping cough to boost their immunity before they go to school.

Iowa has seen a surge in the disease over the past year, especially among adolescents. The Des Moines Register says state medical director Dr. Patricia Quinlisk says the increase is because their immunity wanes in the years after they're vaccinated as babies and toddlers.

So far this year, Iowa has had 1,085 cases of whooping cough, or pertussis. That's up nearly five times the number reported in 2011.

Quinlisk spoke Wednesday to the Iowa Board of Health, which will decide later this year whether to add the middle-school pertussis booster to the vaccinations young children are required to have before entering grade school.