DES MOINES, Iowa – Many central Iowa schools begin school in one week, which means students need to have updated vaccine records and physicals.
Polk County Department of Health Public Information Officer Nola Aigner said it is important for children to have updated health documents.
“This is what prevents diseases that are prevented by vaccines. When we are vaccinated, not only does it keep our children healthy, it keeps our school healthy it keeps our community healthy,” Aigner said.
In 2017, a law was passed requiring all incoming seventh and 12th grade students to get a meningitis vaccine before the first day of school.
Other vaccines depending on a child’s age that they need to have include: polio, measles, hepatitis B, varicella, meningococcal and tetanus.
Aigner said the Polk County Health Department has a program called ‘vaccines for children’ for students who do not have health insurance. They can receive free vaccines and pay a $12 office fee.
“We give kids every type of vaccine. So, we give them the MMR, measles, mumps, rubella, the chicken pox vaccine, we give them the T-Dap vaccine. All of those basic vaccines that they need that are required to go back to school,” Aigner said.
Aigner said to call ahead at make an appointment for your child. The number is 515-286-3798.
Another location offering free physicals, vaccines, vision screenings and more is a partnership between Des Moines Public Schools and Primary Health Care.
On August 19th DMPS students who do not have health insurance or qualify for Medicaid can receive an examination.
PHC Director of Operations Nation Simpson said, “There is a wide range. Really anything that a student would need through their well-child appointments throughout the year.”
DMPS students can go to either Hoover High School or Central Campus on August 19th from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
The Iowa Clinic is providing free sports physicals for Harding Middle School students on August 21st from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. and for Callanan Middle School students on August 22nd from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Every school district has different health requirements, so call your child's school and ask what is needed.
Religious and medical exemptions need to file the correct paperwork in order to qualify.
The American Medical Association, the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization say that vaccines are safe and are the best way to prevent these diseases.