FORT MADISON – The Lee County Health Department is partnering with local secondary schools to inform parents of a new requirement for vaccines prior to the start of the 2017-2018 school year.
The Iowa Department of Public Health, Bureau of Immunization, completed the administrative rules process to require meningococcal (A,C,W,Y) vaccine for students enrolling in 7th and 12th grades. The administrative rule change will be implemented at the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year.
The change requires a one-time dose of meningococcal (A,C,W,Y) vaccine received on or after 10 years of age for children in grades 7 and above, if born after September 15, 2014; and two doses of the vaccine for children in grade 12, if born after September 15, 1999; or one dose if received when the child was 16 years of age of older.
Meningococcal disease is a very serious, life-threatening disease. It is caused by bacteria that can infect the blood, brain and spinal cord. The bacteria are spread through upper respiratory droplets, such as saliva. Meningococcal vaccines are very safe and effective at preventing meningococcal disease. The meningococcal vaccine is 85-100% effective at preventing infection from the sub-types of meningococcus found in the vaccine.
All students who meet the guidelines listed above will be required show proof of the required number of doses of the Meningococcal (A,C,W,Y) BEFORE entering school in the fall. Questions about this new requirement may also be directed to the nurse at the child’s school or the immunization staff at Lee County Health Department at 319-372-5225. More information can also be found at www.idph.iowa.gov/immtb/immunization/laws.
In addition to the change requiring the meningococcal (A,C,W,Y) vaccine for students entering 7th and 12th grade, another vaccine is also required for 7th grade entry. One dose of tetanus/diphtheria/acellular pertussis-containing (Tdap) vaccine is required for students born on or after Sept. 15, 2000 upon entrance to 7th grade and above.
The Lee County Health Department is dedicated to providing vaccines through the Vaccines for Children program. Please visit the LCHD website at www.leecounty.org for information about our immunization clinics, eligibility requirements and schedule.