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Meningococcal vaccine requirement for 2017-18 New for seventh and twelfth-grade (June 2017 School Leader Update)


The meningococcal vaccine requirement passed during the 2016 legislative session is now a requirement for all seventh and twelfth-grade students as described in the March 2017 SLU article. It’s a very good time to brush up on what this means for school administrators. So what does this mean for the administrator?

It is the duty of the admitting officials to ensure a valid certificate is on file for each student in their schools (Iowa Administrative Code (IAC 641-7.8(1)). Applicants without proper evidence of immunization or exemption are not entitled to enrollment in an elementary or secondary school. It shall be the duty of the admitting official to deny enrollment to students who do not comply with requirements for proof of immunization or immunization exemption (IAC 641-7.10).

There may also be questions regarding students who receive services under Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and provide no proof of immunizations, exemption or their provisional certificate has expired after sixty days, and the parent or legal guardian hasn’t produced a record of the child receiving the immunization requirements for enrollment. School administrators often ask how to handle this situation when it occurs. Here is the answer:

The child is still entitled to a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). If the child is excluded, the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team will formulate an alternate placement and program for this child. The child is entitled to services but may not be entitled to them in a comprehensive school. IEP status does not exempt from vaccination requirements.

The administrative rules can be accessed by following the link: Chapter 7 Immunization and Immunization Education: Persons Attending Elementary or Secondary Schools, Licensed Child Care Centers or Institutions of Higher Education. At the beginning of the 2017-18 school year and thereafter, students entering seventh grade born on or after Sept.15, 2004, shall have one dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine (A,C,W,Y). Students entering twelfth grade born on or after Sept. 15, 1999, shall have two doses of meningococcal conjugate vaccine (A,C,W,Y); or one dose if the dose was previously received when the student was sixteen years of age or older. There is no provisional period to implement this requirement if the seventh-grade or twelfth-grade student has received no meningococcal conjugate vaccine. Health requirements for school enrollment can be located on the Iowa Department of Education’s Student Health Requirements webpage. There is a “Questions and Answer” document for more information regarding the requirement available on the Iowa Department of Public Health’s (IDPH) Immunization Program webpage.

For additional information or questions, contact Nicole Proesch, Department of Education attorney, at 515-281-8661 or,
Melissa Walker, Department of Education school nurse consultant at 515-281-5327 or,
Don Callaghan, chief, IDPH Bureau of Immunization and Tuberculosis, at 1-800-831-6293 or, or
Bethany Kintigh, IDPH immunization program manager, at 1-800-831-6293 , Ext. 7 or

Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on March 20, 2018 at 2:42am.