State issues new vaccine requirement for school kids

GRUNDY COUNTY – With the first day of school just around the corner, the Grundy County Public Health Dept., along with area schools, are working hard to remind parents of the new, state-mandated vaccine requirement that went into effect earlier this year.

Per the new law, a meningitis vaccine will now be required for students entering 7th and 12th grades for the upcoming 2017-2018 school year.

Seventh-graders born after September 15, 2004 will be required to show proof of one vaccine, and twelfth- graders born after September 15, 1999  may have to show proof of two vaccines, or one dose if it was received on or after 16 years of age.

Because the vaccine is on the recommended immunization schedule, many students will have already received the vaccine, but for those who haven’t, there will be no grace period or extension to receive the vaccine once school has started. Students or their parents must submit a certificate of immunization before enrolling in school.

 “We’ve been working really hard since the beginning of the year to remind parents of the new vaccine, because if they don’t have it by the start of the school year, their child can’t go to class,” said Grundy County Public Health Director Cassie Frost. “And I’ve been in contact with nurses from area schools, and they’re also working to inform parents about the new requirement, and remind them to get the vaccine taken care of.”

For the full story, see this week's Grundy Register.