School immunizations

Now is a good time to ensure that your children’s immunizations are up-to-date. The state of Iowa requires specific immunizations at certain ages and intervals in order to enroll in school. Families have to document that children have been immunized against various diseases and children also need to receive periodic booster shots.

In Iowa, the following vaccines are required before a child enters school:

  • Hep B to prevent hepatitis B
  • DTaP to protect against pertussis (whooping cough), diptheria, and tetanus (lockjaw)
  • IPV for polio prevention
  • MMR for measles, mumps, rubella (German measles)
  • Varicella to prevent chickenpox

Families should also discuss what recommendations their health care providers have regarding influenza immunizations, or flu shots, for children. It is a good idea to keep a copy of your child’s immunization records, which can help save them from receiving additional shots because a lack of certainty about which vaccines they have received and when they received them.

Adverse reactions to immunizations are rare and the risk of complications is far less than the risk to a child and the community from not being immunized. In fact, the more people in a community who are immunized against a disease, the less likely it is that an outbreak would occur. Public health specialists call this concept “herd immunity.”

Thanks to immunizations, diseases such as polio, mumps and diphtheria are unusual. But health care professionals say being immunized against potentially dangerous childhood diseases should still be a top priority for families.

Be sure to see your University of Iowa health Care primary care provider for more information about childhood and adult immunizations. The Iowa Department of Public Health is an another useful resource for questions about Iowa’s immunization law.