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Pertussis (Whooping Cough) Information

Pertussis has reached epidemic proportions in the State of Washington. All adults, including college students, are urged to get an adult dose of pertussis in the form of Tdap. The immunization requirement for incoming students is being updated as a result of this ongoing health crisis. The current immunization policy requires a tetanus-diphtheria within the last 10 years and two MMR immunizations. This is being updated to require an adult dose of Tdap since 2005 and two MMR’s.

To satisfy this requirement students will be required to show documentation of an adult Tdap.

Students live in a close community setting and are at greater risk for acquiring communicable diseases. Here are more recommended immunizations for entering students.

  • Meningitis
  • Hepatitis B series of three
  • Hepatitis A series of two
  • Varicella series of two if have not had chicken pox

The preferred route is to get the immunizations through your family physician and utilize your insurance preventive care allowances. Students not covered by insurance may be eligible to use your county health department for reduced cost vaccines. The meningitis, Hepatitis B and  Hepatitis A vaccines are available at SPU Health Services (see website for current prices.) Health Services is not able to bill insurance but can provide a statement for your to submit a claim to your insurance.

Jean Brown

Director, Health Services


Updated 5/11/12




   Helpful Links


Seattle King County Health Dept.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Information of Pertussis (Whooping Cough)


Washington State Dept of Health

Dept of Health New Release (4/3/12)

Information of Pertussis (Whooping Cough)


What can I do if I cannot afford the immunization and/or my health insurance will not cover it?

King County options for low-cost Tdap for Uninsured

Up-to-Date Pertussis Vaccine Info with Places to Obtain Tdap in King County

Press Release with Places to Obtain Free/Low-Cost Tdap in Snohomish County


For SPU Employees

Instructions on Using Your Benefits

Claim Form (if going to a pharmacy)

Premera Article on Whooping Cough


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