Minnesota Seventh-Graders May Need New Round of Vaccinations

Updated: 08/18/2014 6:53 PM
Created: 08/18/2014 11:35 AM
By: Brianna Long

(ABC 6 News) -- As parents check vaccinations off their back-to-school checklist, they may notice a change in the required shots for middle school students.

"I'm kind of nervous, but pretty excited," said soon-to-be 7th grader Ben Ammermann. He's new to Rochester, and he already got his school supplies. He's also already been vaccinated.

"It hurt a little. But you just got to think, pain is temporary," said Ben.     

The vaccines Ben got are a little different than what was required for seventh graders in the past.

"This state rule updates and matches now the modern recommendations for teens," said Dr. Robert Jacobson, a Mayo Clinic doctor who testified at the state capitol to help get these recommendations to become requirements.

One change, is the pertussis has been added to the law, which reflects the T-Dap vaccine. The other change, is a meningococcal vaccine.

"Meningococcal disease affects 800 to 1200 individuals in the us every year. Even when we can rapidly identify and treat with antibiotics, about 15 percent die of meningitis. The other 20 to 25 percent have everything from brain damage to losing a body part. It's a devastating illness," said Dr. Jacobson.

Ben now has those vaccines, and his mom says she doesn't mind listening to the experts when it comes to new shots.

"I guess I rely on the doctor to kind of advise us about what's required. A little information about what new shots are out there. I do some research knowing what's not required, but recommended. My husband and I decide if the kids need it or not," said Ben's mom, Jennifer Ammermann.

Besides the little bit of pain, Ben agrees with his mother.

"If it's what we need, then its fine," said Ben. 

Photo: MGN