With the new school year underway, all Mahaska County seventh-graders were required to get a vaccination.
Patty Malloy, RN, serves as public health coordinator with Mahaska Health Partnership. Malloy said the TDAP vaccination is now required for children going into seventh grade this year. This applies to students born after Sept. 15, 2000, she added.
TDAP stands for tetanus diphtheria acellular pertussis. Pertussis is more commonly known as whooping cough.
Optional vaccinations include one for Meningitis, noted Malloy.
“The only one that’s required for school is the TDAP,” said Malloy.
The TDAP vaccination requirement was put in place after 1,647 cases of pertussis were reported in the year 2012 in Iowa, which is about a 417 percent increase from the average in the past five years, said Malloy.
“The majority of the cases for Pertussis were among pre-teens,” said Malloy. “So, that is one of the biggest reasons why this age group is now required to have the Pertussis vaccine.”
If untreated, Meningitis can cause illness and even death, noted Malloy. People can have the flu-like symptoms of severe headaches and nauseousness, Malloy explained. Meningitis is a bacterial infection that can be spread when people live in close quarters such as college dormitories, she said.
Flu shot season is coming up. On Sept. 9, flu shot clinics will begin at the public health office at MHP. They will be held Mondays from 8 a.m. to noon and Thursdays from 1 to 4 p.m. No appointment is required during those time periods. If those times don’t work, call Malloy’s office at 673-3257 to schedule.
A drive through flu clinic will be held Sept. 28 from 7 a.m. to noon at MHP, 1225 C Ave. E., near Entrance 6.
Herald City Editor Andy Goodell can be reached at email@example.com.