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New vaccine requirement for seventh and 12th grade students

3/27/2017

(Des Moines, IA) –  There is a new meningococcal vaccine requirement for seventh and 12th graders effective for the 2017-2018 school year. The meningococcal vaccine requirement was made in the 2016 legislative session. Iowa is now one of 32 states with a meningococcal vaccine school requirement.

All students entering or transferring into seventh grade and born after September 15, 2004, will need to show vaccine documentation of the meningococcal vaccine. All students entering or transferring into the 12th grade and born after September 15, 1999, will need to show vaccine documentation of one dose of the meningococcal vaccine on or after the age 16.

“Parents and guardians should check their child’s immunization records,” said Rick Kozin, Polk County Health Department Director. “By law, if your seventh grader or 12th grader is not fully immunized for meningitis, he or she could be kept out of school, as early as day one of classes.”

Meningococcal disease is a very serious, potentially, life threatening disease. The meningococcal vaccine is 85 – 100 percent effective at preventing infection from the subtypes of meningococcus found in the vaccine.

“Schedule an appointment with your health care provider now. Summer and heading back-to-school are busy times for everyone,” said Kozin. “Do not wait as appointments will fill up fast and your child may not be able to see their provider in time.”

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If your child has not had this vaccine, please set up an appointment with their health care provider to get their vaccines up-to-date as soon as possible and before the 2017-2018 school year. If you do not have health insurance, you can schedule an appointment with the Polk County Health Department (515-286-3798).

For more information about the meningococcal vaccine, please visit our website www.polkcountyiowa.gov/health.

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