Summertime means camps, vacations and sports, but the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) urges parents to also use this time to ensure their child’s immunizations are up-to-date in preparation for going back to school. Iowa law requires children to receive immunizations prior to attending a licensed child care center or school.
“Last year’s pertussis outbreak is an excellent example of the importance of keeping vaccinations up-to-date,” said IDPH Medical Director, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk. In 2012, there were 1,647 cases of pertussis (whooping cough) reported in Iowa, which is 417 percent higher than the average over the last five years. “The majority of these cases were among pre-teens,” said Quinlisk. “That’s one reason why this age group is now being required to have a pertussis-containing booster vaccination.”
Beginning this year, Iowa students enrolling in 7th grade are required to have a tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap) vaccine booster. Although not required, a Tdap booster is recommended for 8th through 12th-graders who have not yet received it. To learn more about the Tdap booster requirement, visit http://bit.ly/122xNKF. Contact your health care provider to make sure your child’s immunizations meet current recommendations.
Vaccination requirements are based upon recommendations from the national Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and are minimum recommendations to keep your child healthy. The best way to protect you and your family against vaccine-preventable diseases is to make sure your immunizations are up-to-date. Vaccinating on schedule means healthier children, families and communities. For more information about vaccinations, including required child care and school vaccinations, recommended adult vaccinations, and more, visit www.idph.state.ia.us/ImmTB/Immunization.aspx?prog=Imm&pg=ImmHome.