Alabama schools whooping cough vaccine

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.