**Required Vaccinations for Upcoming School Year**
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR TEACHERS, PARENTS, COACHES AND SPECIAL ACTIVITY PROVIDERS OF STUDENTS ENTERING 7TH AND 12TH GRADE IN THE 2017-2018 SCHOOL YEAR
The Iowa Department of Public Health has new instructions regarding mandatory vaccines for students enrolling in 7th and 12th grades. These rules will apply to students for the 2017-2018 school year. Families of students should contact their doctor’s office for an appointment to receive these required vaccines and submit the completed forms to the school nurse as soon as possible. Families can return these forms before the end of this school year if they have them completed.
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 on or after the age of 16.
Meningitis is a very serious disease. Approximately 10 – 15 % of people with meningitis 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 85-100% effective at preventing infection. The meningococcal vaccine requirement will help keep students, friends, families and communities safe.
By law, if a 7th or 12th grader is not fully immunized for meningitis, he or she could be kept out of school and all school-related activities like sports as early as day 1.
Students entering 7th or 12th grade in the 2017-2018 school year should check with their doctor about the meningococcal vaccination. If they do not, they should contact their school nurse for assistance in referral to a provider.
Elizabeth Shirley, RN