Meningitis Vaccine Requirements for 7th and 12th Grade Students for 2017-18 School Year

The Iowa Immunization Law has been amended requiring that ALL 7th grade and 12th grade students* who were born after September 15, 2004, will need proof of one* dose of the meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MenACWY). If your child DOES NOT have this vaccine before start of the 2017-18 school year, they will not be allowed to start classes**.

*Additional information regarding 12th grade MenACWY vaccinations: If the first dose of this vaccine was received at 16 years of age or older, one dose will be sufficient for the law. If your child has received one dose prior to age 16 (example: as a 7th grader), a second dose is required in 12th grade. Proof of one vaccine will allow your child to remain in school on a provisional status (60 days) until the second dose is received.

**Exemptions: The Muscatine Community School District will adhere to the rules outlined in the Iowa Immunization Law as we always have. This includes the acceptance of medical and religious exemptions as defined by the law. You can find more information on the Iowa Department of Public Health website regarding exemptions.

Why is the meningitis vaccine required?

Meningitis is a very serious life threatening disease and adolescents are likely the main source of transmission for this disease. Meningitis is caused by bacteria that can infect the blood, brain, and spinal cord. This bacteria is spread through respiratory droplets and saliva (living in close quarters, sharing food/drink, kissing). 10-15% of people with meningitis die even with appropriate treatment. Those who recover often suffer from serious after-effects such as hearing loss, loss of limbs, or brain damage. This change in the immunization law protects the health of adolescents, friends, families and communities. Meningitis vaccines are very safe and effective at preventing this disease.

Could my child have already gotten this vaccine?

Yes, the ACIP (Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices) recommends routine vaccination for meningitis at 11 or 12 years of age and receive a booster dose at age 16 years. Check with your child’s health care provider to see if they’ve had this vaccine. If your child has already been vaccinated for meningitis, your health care provider can give you a new Certificate of Immunization to turn into your child’s school. (Note: the dose MenACWY vaccine must have been given after their 10th birthday to meet the 7th grade requirement).

What if my child doesn’t get this vaccine before school starts?

You child WILL NOT be allowed to start classes until they have had this vaccine so DO NOT WAIT to find out if your child needs this vaccine. Call your doctor TODAY to see if your child needs vaccinated.

MenACWY vaccine is available at Trinity Muscatine Public Health for adolescents who meet the requirements of the VFC (Vaccines For Children) Program. These requirements are:

  • is enrolled in Medicaid
  • does NOT have health insurance
  • is American Indian or Alaskan Native (AI/AN)
  • is underinsured (health insurance does NOT cover immunizations)

Trinity Muscatine Public Health is not able to bill insurance, so all students with private insurance coverage MUST make an appointment with their health care provider.

If you have further questions, please call Trinity Muscatine Public Health at (563) 263-0122 or your Health Care Provider.

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