We realize 2019-20 was an unusual school year as we worked around the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic. However, the State of Iowa’s immunization requirements for the 2020-21 school year have not changed.

For students entering 7th and 12th grades, Des Moines Public Schools recommends making a vaccination appointment with a physician as soon as possible to avoid long wait times. Students without the Meningococcal vaccination, or a waiver, will be sent home on the first day of school. This is a state requirement, and not under the district’s control.

Each of our local healthcare systems have safety precautions and guidelines in place for well child exams. Ask your provider for more information. Families should emphasize that the need for their appointment is for routine vaccinations, and that their child may be in danger of being excluded from school. In order to attend school or licensed child care for the 2020-21 school year, the child needs a valid Iowa Department of Public Health-Certificate of Immunization, Provisional Certificate of Immunization, or Certificate of Immunization Exemption.

Seventh Grade

Meningococcal Secondary School Vaccination Requirement: Students entering 7th grade born on or after September 15, 2004 shall have one dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine (A,C,W,Y). There is no provisional period to implement this requirement, meaning students without it will be sent home on the first day of school. This is a state requirement.

Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis (Tdap) Vaccination Requirement: Students entering 7th grade and above if born on or after September 15, 2000, shall have a one-time dose of tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine.

Twelfth Grade

Meningococcal Secondary School Vaccination Requirement: Students entering 12th grade born on or after September 15, 1999 shall have two doses of meningococcal conjugate vaccine (A,C,W,Y); or 1 dose if  one dose was previously received when the student was sixteen years of age or older.  There is no provisional period to implement this requirement, meaning students will be sent home on the first day of school. This is a state requirement.

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.

*This information is provided by the Iowa Department of Public Health and the Polk County Health Department.