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Thursday, August 3, 2017

New Meningococcal Vaccine Requirement for Grades 7 & 12

 


(“No Shot, No School” PSA posted by the Polk County Health Department.
A transcript of this video is at the bottom of the page.)

The State of Iowa has passed a new law, requiring the meningococcal (specifically A,C,W,Y) vaccine for students entering grades seven and 12, beginning with the 2017-18 school year. All incoming seventh- and 12th-grade students will need to submit a completed Certificate of Immunization with the Meningococcal (A,C,W,Y) vaccination.

Seventh- and 12th-grade students must submit documentation of the vaccine before the first day of school to start school on Aug. 23. There will be no grace/extension period for these requirements. Your school must have documentation for your child, or they will not be able to start school until documentation is submitted.

Note: The Polk County Health Department alerted the district to misinformation that was shared about the meningococcal vaccine required for students entering grades 7 and 12. The meningitis vaccine is NOT the same as the Tdap vaccine. The Tdap vaccine protects against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis, not meningitis.

What “counts” as documentation?

  • The only acceptable form of documentation is a Certificate of Immunization. Healthcare providers should be able to provide a Certificate of Immunization to you after you get the vaccine.
  • If you have already received the vaccine and did not get a Certificate of Immunization, you should be able to access a copy of the certificate in the state’s immunization registry and have it signed.

Where can families turn in documentation?

  • With District Register Joy Zuber at the Learning Resource Center. Fax documentation to 515-633-5103.
  • To the Polk County Health Department, 1907 Carpenter Ave. Turn in documentation between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday to Friday, and until 7 p.m. on Tuesdays.
  • At your schoolPlease call your school about its summer hours.

You can receive the vaccine from your usual health care provider and at the Polk County Health Department. The vaccine will also be available at Clive Community Services’ Back to School Health Fair.

Find out more about the new meningococcal immunization requirement below.

New Meningococcal Immunization Requirement Fact Sheet

Print the Fact Sheet       en español

What is meningococcal?

  • Meningococcal disease is an illness caused by the bacteria Neisseria meningitides which causes inflammation of the tissues surrounding the brain and spinal cord (meninges) resulting in meningitis. This bacteria is not as contagious as the common cold or influenza, but can spread quickly by simply breathing the same air where an infected person has been. College freshman, especially those living in crowded residence halls, have shown a higher rate of infection.

What vaccine is required?

  • The only acceptable meningococcal vaccines are: MenACWY, MCV, MCV4, MCV4P (Menactra), MCV40 (Menveo), MPSV, or MPSV4 (Menomune). Documentation listing “meningitis vaccine,” meningococcal vaccine (NOS), Meningovax AC, MenHiberix, or Men B (Bexsero, Trumenba) will not meet the requirement.

What doses are required?

  • The change requires a one-time dose of meningococcal (A,C,W,Y) vaccine on or after 10 years of age for applicants in grades 7 and above., if born after September 15, 2004; and 2 doses of meningococcal (A,C,W,Y) vaccines for applicants in grade 12, if born after September 15, 1999; or 1 dose if received when applicants are 16 years or older.

What is the deadline to receive the immunization?

  • All incoming seventh-grade students must submit documentation of receiving the meningococcal vaccine (A,C,W,Y) before the first day of school, Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017, or they will be excluded from attending school.
  • Incoming 12th-grade students who have not received any doses of the required vaccine must submit documentation of receiving the meningococcal vaccine (A,C,W,Y) before the first day of school, Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017, or they will be excluded from attending school.
  • Incoming 12th-grade students who have received at least one dose of the required vaccine between ages 10 and 16, must receive the booster, or second dose, of the required vaccine by October 23, 2017. Students not receiving the vaccine booster by this date will be excluded from school.

There will be no grace/extension period for the implementation of these requirements.

Please contact your health care provider as soon as possible to complete this requirement mandated by the State of Iowa. Immunizations are also available by appointment at the Polk County Health Department, 1907 Carpenter Ave., Des Moines. Please call 515-286-3798 to make an appointment.

It is essential to provide documentation to your school nurse’s office as soon as the vaccine requirement has been met.

 

Video transcript: Meningitis is a life-threatening illness transmitted among teenagers. It’s not their fault. Teenagers spend a lot of time together, making it easy for meningitis to spread, especially in schools, dorms, and cafeterias. That’s why Iowa now requires all incoming seventh- and 12th-graders have a meningitis vaccination before they can start class. Call it the No Shot, No School rule. So keep them safe and smart. Get them an appointment with your health care provider today.