REMINDER TO PARENTS: New School Immunization Requirement

Posted 6/2/2017 in Public Health

Brought to you by Delaware County Public Health

A new immunization rule will be in place for the 2017-2018 school year. This is for all students going in 7th and 12th grades. The change is about vaccination for meningitis.

“Meningococcal disease is a very serious, life-threatening illness,” said Delma Hardin, BSN, RN, Delaware County Public Health Manager. “This vaccine protects against four strains of meningitis, and is 85 to 100 percent effective at preventing infection.”

Grades 7 and above: Students born on or after September 15, 2004 will need a one-time dose of meningococcal (A, C, W, Y) vaccine.

Grade 12: Students born on or after September 15, 1999 will need two doses of meningococcal (A, C, W, Y) vaccine. Or, one dose if they received their first dose at 16 years or older.

Parents, please plan now. Make sure your student gets the vaccine before the start of the 2017-2018 school year.

As stated by the CDC, 10 to 15 percent of people with meningococcal disease die, even with proper treatment. Of those who get better, up to 20 percent have serious after-effects like permanent hearing loss, limb loss, or brain damage.

“This new school immunization rule is important because the bacteria that cause meningococcal disease are spread through nasal secretions and upper respiratory droplets, like saliva.  Teens and young adults are at greater risk for meningococcal disease, and meningococcal vaccine is the best protection,” said Hardin.  “As with all vaccinations, this shot not only protects the individual, but also their friends and those around them.”

For more facts on the new meningitis vaccine rule and for other school vaccine information, visit http://www.idph.iowa.gov/immtb/immunization/laws. If you have questions about immunizations, call Delaware County Public Health at 563-927-7551.