BACK TO SCHOOL: New vaccine requirement for Iowa students - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

BACK TO SCHOOL: New vaccine requirement for Iowa students

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KWWL -

Students statewide are required to get a new vaccine before starting school. 

Iowa students will not be able to attend classes this coming school year without first having the meningococcal vaccine for meningitis. 

"7th graders need to have at least one dose, 12th graders need two doses unless they received that first dose after the age of 16, if it's after the age of 16 they just need the one dose," says Heather Meador, Sr. Public Health Nurse at Linn County Public Health. 

The Cedar Rapids Community School District tells KWWL approximately 42% of 7th graders and 49% of 12th graders don't have the vaccine yet. 

The first day of school is less than a month away in Cedar Rapids. 

While this is a new requirement for the state of Iowa we are told many other states already have the requirement in place. 

In addition, most colleges will require the meningococcal vaccine. 

Meador says meningitis can be a deadly disease. 

"Even with treatment, 10-15% of those will die and approximately another 20% will suffer life long debilitating conditions."

Meningitis spreads easily. 
"Sharing drinks, sharing lip gloss those things that teens and young adults do," says Meador. 

To learn more about the vaccine requirement visit:
    https://idph.iowa.gov/Portals/1/userfiles/39/Mening%20School%20Requirement%20Q%20%26%20A%204-6-17%20Final.pdf.

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