Important Information for Incoming 7th and 12th Grade Students

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) has new instructions regarding mandatory vaccines for students enrolling in 7th and 12th grades. These rules will apply to students for the 2017-18 school year.

Please contact your primary healthcare provider regarding these required vaccines, and submit the completed forms to the school nurse as soon as possible – you can return these forms before the end of this school year if you have them completed.

Students will not be allowed to start classes in the fall until they have turned in the forms. This is a state requirement, and not one controlled by the district.

The change requires:

  • Students entering 7th grade (if born after September 15, 2004) – 1 dose of meningococcal vaccine received on or after age of 10 – a booster dose will be needed at age 16.
  • Students entering 12th grade (if born after September 15, 1999) – 1 dose of meningococcal vaccine at 16 years of age or older.

Meningococcal disease is very serious. Approximately 10-15% of people with meningococcal disease die even with appropriate treatment. Of those who recover, up to 20% suffer from serious after-effects, such as permanent hearing loss, limb loss, or brain damage. Meningococcal vaccines are very safe and are 85-100% effective at preventing infection. The meningococcal vaccine requirement will help keep students, friends, families and communities safe.

If you have a student that will be entering 7th or 12th grade in the 2017-18 school year, please check with your primary healthcare provider about meningococcal vaccination. If you do not have health insurance, you can schedule an appointment with the Polk County Health Department (515-286-3798).

Do not wait as appointments will fill up fast and your child may not be able to see their provider in time. If you do not know if this new vaccination rule affects your children, please reach out to your school nurse for guidance.

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