The Iowa Department of Public Health has made changes to the Iowa Immunization law for the start of the 2017-2018 school year. This change requires that all students entering 7th grade have both a Meningococcal vaccine and a Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis/whopping cough) booster before school starts this August. This change also requires all students entering 12th grade have 2 doses of Meningococcal vaccine if born after September 15th, 1999; or 1 dose if received when the student is 16 years of age or older.
The Tdap requirement has been put in place since the 2013-2014 school year and requires a booster dose of Tetanus, Diphtheria, and acellular Pertussis containing vaccine for students entering 7th grade, regardless of the interval since the last Tetanus/Diphtheria containing vaccine. Pertussis (whooping cough) is a very contagious disease that causes violent coughing fits that make it hard to breathe.
Meningococcal disease is a life threatening illness that is caused by bacteria that infects the brain, blood, and spinal cord. It easily spreads in crowded settings. The vaccine will be required prior to both the 7th and 12th grades.
All students entering 7th grade must have proof of having both the Meningococcal and the Tdap vaccines before school starts in August, unless the student has a Certificate of Immunization Exemption. All students entering 12th grade must have proof of having at least 1 dose of the Meningococcal vaccine before school starts in August, unless the student has a Certificate of Immunization Exemption.
There will be no grace/extension period for the implementation of this requirement.
Now is a great time for your child to receive these immunization requirements and beat the back-to-school rush by making an appointment today.
Thank you for your time and attention to this requirement,
Jodi Heinrich, RN
Monticello Middle School/High School Nurse