Jumpstart back-to-school health fair provides easy access for seventh grade vaccine requirements

DES MOINES, IA (07/21/2014)(readMedia)-- The 2014-2015 school year is just around the corner. Parents should be reminded of the State of Iowa requirement that all students entering 7th grade and born after September 15, 2000 must provide proof of an adolescent Tdap booster vaccination. This booster vaccination protects students from tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough). Polk County students entering seventh grade will be able to receive this vaccine among many other free health services at Jumpstart, a back-to-school health fair.

"Children receive their first Tdap vaccination as infants," said Rick Kozin, director of the Polk County Health Department. "Over time their protection fades, so this booster helps children maintain their immunity from the diseases."

Des Moines University and the Polk County Health Department will host Jumpstart on Saturday, July 26, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. at East High School, 815 East 13th Street. Families with students in grades K-12 who do not have adequate health insurance or access to health care are encouraged to take advantage of free physicals, dental screenings and immunizations. Interpretation services will be available for non-English speakers. The event involves many community partners and hundreds of volunteers.

In additional to immunizations, the following health services will be provided:

  • Physicals – required for children entering kindergarten, seventh grade and students playing sports.
  • Vision screenings
  • Immunizations – required for all students; ALL seventh graders need the Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) booster before entering school in the fall.
  • Dental screenings – required for children entering kindergarten and ninth grade.
  • Lead poisoning tests
  • Behavioral health screenings
  • Health and dental insurance application

For more information regarding Jumpstart, please visit www.dmu.edu/jumpstart.

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Des Moines University (DMU) is the only private medical school in Iowa, offering graduate-level, professional degree programs in osteopathic medicine, podiatric medicine, physical therapy, physician assistant studies, biomedical sciences, anatomy, health care administration and public health. Founded in 1898, the institution offers superior academics in a collaborative environment. DMU students' pass rate on national examinations and board certifications is consistently higher than the national average and the rates at similar institutions.