The State of Iowa has updated their requirements for the meningococcal vaccine beginning this fall for the 2017-2018 school year.
Per the new requirements, all students entering 7th and 12th grade must be vaccinated against meningococcal disease to attend school.
Meningococcal disease is a severe bacterial infection that can lead to meningitis, which is inflammation of the lining covering the brain and spinal cord, and bloodstream infections such as septicemia. Symptoms of the meningococcal disease include a high fever, headache, vomiting, a stiff neck and a rash. Individuals who contract this disease may experience permanent brain damage, hearing loss, kidney failure, loss of arms or legs, or chronic nervous system problems.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the highest rates for meningococcal disease is among preteens, teens, young adults, and infants with specific medical conditions. This new requirement aligns with the recommendation of the CDC that those between 11-18 years receive the vaccine, who are at the highest risk.
How Many Doses Are Needed?
7th Grade: One dose by the time they enter 7th grade (unless first dose was given in 6th grade)
12th Grade: Two doses by the time they enter 12th grade (if first dose was given when younger, need one more booster before entering 12th grade)
Exemption: For any student who received their first does on or after their 16th birthday, a second dose is not required before entering 12th grade.
Schools will require a valid Certificate of Immunization that includes this new meningococcal vaccine.
For more information about the new meningococcal vaccine requirement or about all immunization recommendations, contact us at 844-474-4321.