Changes have been made to rules surrounding student vaccinations for the 2018-2019 school year.
Emily Medalen is live to tell us why you may want to get a jump start on scheduling an appointment this year.
The North Dakota Department of Health has made a few changes for elementary and high school students this year.
It is now mandatory for 11th and 12th graders to receive a second dose of the meningitis vaccine.
Before this year, the only requirement was for 7th and 8th graders to get the first dose, but the department of health says it’s very important for upperclassmen to get the second round before they finish high school.
They said last year, only 30% of high schoolers got that vaccine – which is why they’re making the change.
“Kids aren’t really protected when they’re in that age range – also, that 15-23 age range is also when they’re at the greatest risk for the disease, so that’s why that booster dose is reccommended. And so we just want to make sure they’re getting them. Our rates right now are really low for that second one so we just want to get those up,” says Lexie Barber, ND Department of Health.
Barber added that vaccines are covered by insurance.
But if students are uninsured, the vaccines for children’s program will cover the costs.
This year, students will be excluded from school if they aren’t up to date by October 1st.
Lexie Barber reminds us that students entering kindergarten need 5 vaccines, and middle and high schoolers need at least two others.
“With the rule changes, we’re kind of concerned about kids getting in. But it’s just a good time to make sure kids are up to date. People get busy and I know sports start earlier and earlier every year, so it’s just good to get it out of the way, and not have to worry about it in the fall,” says Barber.