New immunizations requirements in place for students in grades 7-12
Chickasaw County Public Health officials are reminding parents of new immunization requirements that will be in effect next school year for all students in grades 7-12.The change requires a one-time dose of meningococcal (A, C, W, Y) vaccine received on or after 10 years of age for students in grades 7 and above, if born after Sept. 15, 2004; and two doses of meningococcal (A, C, W, Y) vaccines with one dose received on or after 16 years of age for students in grade 12, if born after Sept. 15, 1999; or one dose if received when students are 16 years of age or older.This requirement is effective for the 2017-2018 school year and, parents should plan now.“Meningococcal disease is a very serious, life-threatening illness,” said Kathy Babcock, RN, BSN, and Chickasaw County Public Health Director. “This vaccine protects against four strains, or ‘serogroups’ of meningitis, and is 85 to 100 percent effective at preventing infection.”According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 10 to 15 percent of people with meningococcal disease die, even with appropriate treatment. Of those who recover, up to 20 percent have serious after-effects like permanent hearing loss, limb loss, or brain damage.“This new school immunization requirement is important because the bacteria that cause meningococcal disease are spread through upper respiratory droplets like saliva. Teens and young adults are at increased risk for meningococcal disease, and meningococcal vaccine is the best protection” said Babcock.Chickasaw County Public Health does offer vaccinations; the agency does not bill insurance for regular vaccinations except for flu vaccinations but does charge a fee of $10 for clinic visit.For more information visit idph.iowa.gov.