Alabama Department of Health

Alabama health officials say most students entering the sixth grade this year will have to get a vaccination to protect them against whooping cough.

   The Montgomery Advertiser reports ( ) the state health department says the tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis, or Tdap, vaccine will be required for students entering the sixth grade who are 11 and older.

   Pertussis, a bacterial disease also known as whooping cough, is highly contagious and can be fatal.

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A new report by Alabama health officials says the rate of traffic deaths has fallen drastically since the state established a trauma network in 2007.

The numbers released by the Alabama Department of Public Health and the Alabama Hospital Association show deaths from vehicle crashes dropped from 27.64 per 100,000 people in 2006 to a rate of 18.05 per 100,000 people in 2011.

Dr. John Campbell, the retired state emergency services medical director, says the results show spending on trauma care has paid off for Alabama.

State Health Officer Don Williamson says 13 Alabamians were injected with the steroid medicine from a specialty pharmacy linked to a meningitis outbreak. Williamson says six were injected in Tennessee and seven in Florida. Alabama did not receive any of the original batch of recalled injections from New England Compounding Center, but Alabamians were exposed because they received treatment in neighboring states that did receive shipments. The company has recalled its other products as a precaution.