Reno, Nev. (February 16, 2017) - Beginning with the 2017-2018 school year, all Nevada public and private school students enrolling in 7th grade will be required to receive one dose of the quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4 or MenACWY). Additionally, all students enrolled as a freshman of a Nevada university, 23 years or younger, may not attend after September 1, 2017 without proof of meningococcal vaccination on or after age 16. This vaccine protects against four types of the bacteria that cause meningococcal disease (serogroups A, C, W, and Y).
Adolescents and young adults are among those at greatest risk for exposure to meningococcal disease. Meningococcal disease can refer to any illness that is caused by the bacteria Neisseria meningitidis, also known as meningococcus. This infection can lead to brain damage, hearing loss, learning disabilities, amputations, and death. Vaccination is the best defense against meningococcal disease.
“21 percent of all meningococcal disease occurs in adolescents and young adults; so this requirement will not only lengthen the time for which immunized students are protected from vaccine-preventable diseases, but will also lower their chances of spreading it to infants, the elderly, classmates with weakened immune systems, and others,” said Heidi Parker, Executive Director at Immunize Nevada.
While Tdap and MCV4 are the only two immunizations required for 7th grade students in Nevada, HPV and an annual influenza vaccine are also recommended for adolescents. The HPV vaccine protects against cervical and other cancers caused by human papillomavirus infection.
“Vaccines are one of the most cost-effective preventive measures available and have saved countless lives,” said Karissa Loper, Deputy Bureau Chief for Child, Family & Community Wellness within the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health. “This new requirement will continue to protect the health and well-being of adolescents in our state. We will work closely with Immunize Nevada and the county health districts to educate healthcare providers, parents, policy-makers, and all community members about the new meningococcal vaccine requirement and its benefits.”
Recommended adolescent vaccines, including Tdap and MCV4, can be administered by doctor’s offices, pharmacists, healthcare professionals at community clinics, community health nurses, and local health districts. Additionally, the Nevada Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program provides vaccines to children who are uninsured/underinsured, eligible for Medicaid, or Alaska Native/American Indian. The VFC Program helps children receive their vaccines according to the recommended immunization schedule and has contributed directly to a substantial increase in childhood and teen immunization rates nationwide.
Parents can find out more about the vaccines required to attend school in Nevada at https://www.immunizenevada.org/NVSchoolRequirements. They can also check and print their child’s immunization records at https://izrecord.nv.gov. First-time users may need to contact the Nevada WebIZ help desk at 1-877-NV-WebIZ (877-689-3249) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please visit the following websites for more information:
- For more information on Meningococcal Disease visit: www.immunizenevada.org/meningitis
- For information on vaccines and vaccine-preventable diseases, visit www.cdc.gov/vaccines
- For information about Nevada’s school immunization requirements, visit https://www.immunizenevada.org/NVSchoolRequirements
- For information on how to access free or low-cost vaccines, visit www.VFCNevada.org
- For information on additional vaccination opportunities, visit www.immunizenevada.org/calendar
For details about vaccines, statistics, logic, prevention strategies and vaccination clinics, follow Immunize Nevada on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest. Or visit www.immunizenevada.org for more information.