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District’s commitment to student health earns county award for highest student immunization rate

Wednesday, June 5, 2019 — District officials recently learned that its efforts to ensure all students are receiving vaccinations as required under Minnesota law, has paid off in more than just healthier kids. Last week, Dakota County Public Health (DCPH) notified South St. Paul Public Schools (SSPPS) that the district had earned its Immunization Achievement Award for having the highest overall vaccination rate for seventh grade students in Dakota County. County officials noted that SSPPS achieved a 98.33 percent vaccination rate in the 2017-18 school year (the most recent year of data collection).Immunizations graphic

“On-time vaccinations throughout childhood are essential because they help provide immunity before children are exposed to potentially life-threatening diseases,” said Bonnie Brueshoff, director of public health for Dakota County. “It also prevents the spread of disease in our community.”

According to Kristin Lefferts, SSP Secondary licensed school nurse, the district works hard to help parents understand the importance of vaccinations and to help families with the resources they need to get required immunizations. Lefferts acknowledged that some students are exempted from the immunization requirements, as allowable under state statute, but that overall,l SSPPS parents have been “great” about getting the vaccines.

“We have created a culture here about the state requirements and our district expectations. We communicate with parents through school newsletters and direct mailings to families of students in need of required vaccinations,” she said. “This award from Dakota County recognizes the hard work of all district healthcare and support staff who collaborate to help us keep our community a healthy place to live and learn.”

With the end of another school year approaching, the district reminds all SSPPS families that the Minnesota School Immunization Law requires students entering kindergarten and seventh grade, and those newly enrolled to the district, to show proof of required immunizations or to file legal exemptions from immunizations with the school.

Click to learn more:

  • Resources and Financial Support
    • No Shots No School Immunization Program, click HERE.
    • Dakota County Public Health Immunization Clinics, click HERE.
  • Minnesota Immunization Law
    • School-aged student required immunizations, click HERE.
    • Exemption Provision, click HERE

Dakota County Public Health provides programs and services that help improve the health of all Dakota County residents. Staff work with partners in health care, non-profits, schools, and the community to prevent disease, promote wellness, and protect health for individuals, children and families.