7th/12th Grade Vaccine Requirement

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) has new instructions regarding mandatory vaccines for students enrolling in 7th and 12th grades.

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.

A 60 day grace period will be given to students who have had at least one meningococcal dose in their lifetime.

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, 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).

Des Moines Public Schools students who need help getting the meningitis vaccination can call 242-8488 and make an appointment at the DMPS Community Center and Clinic at Central Campus. All forms of insurance are accepted, including Title 19. No DMPS student will be turned away.

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.