Polk County Health Department

School Immunization Report

Every year, nurses employed by the Polk County Health Department perform an audit of the vaccination certificates of the students in each school, as mandated by the Iowa Department of Public Health. Using data collected from these audits, the Polk County Health Department identifies trends in student enrollment, exemptions and certificates, and vaccination rates. 

Click here to access the PDF version of the 2008-2013 Polk County Vaccination Report.

Click here to access to PDF version of the 2013 Immunization Data by School.

Click here to access the online vaccination map of  the 2013 Immunization Data.

School Year 2013_Map Report

Map Legend:

Green-Elementary School

Purple-Middle School

Red- High School

Blue- Non Public School

Yellow- Other


Definition of Terms Used in The Report:

Student Enrollment

The number of students enrolled in the district is based on data reported by school employees at the time of the audit each fall.

Medical Exemptions

Medical Exemptions are issued if a physician, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant deems the administration of the vaccine injurious to the health of the student or a member of the student’s family or household, or if minimum spacing requirements for the vaccine have not been met. In the latter case, the student may receive the vaccine after minimum spacing requirements have been met.

Religious exemptions

Religious exemptions are granted to students for whom vaccination conflicts with a religious belief. To be granted a religious exemption, parents or legal guardians must sign a waiver certifying that immunization would violate a religious belief and not simply a philosophical, moral, personal, or scientific viewpoint.

Provisional certificates

Provisional certificates are issued to students for two reasons: if the student is a transfer student, or if the student has received at least one dose of each required vaccine but has not completed all of the required immunization series. Students under provisional enrollment are given up to 60 days to show proof of vaccination or to proceed with the next vaccines in the required series. Since provisional certificates are issued temporarily, the number of students in this category is always in flux; a portion of students issued provisional certificates become fully immunized, while others do not receive further vaccines and are later issued medical or religious exemptions or are excluded from school until they present a valid certificate or exemption. Therefore, the risk posed by unvaccinated students under provisional certificates most accurately captures short-term risk to the school and may lead to an overestimation of students who are not fully vaccinated during the entire school year.

Invalid Certificates

A certificate is considered invalid and does by law require exclusion of the student from school if there is no immunization information at all on the student, if any Certificate or Exemption has expired with no updated immunization records, or if the student is missing an immunization that is a state-required immunization to enter school. Excluded students may re-enter school once they provide an up-to-date certificate or exemption. A certificate is considered invalid, but does not require exclusion of the student from school, if it has been filled out improperly, if the student is missing a required immunization that is not the first in the series of state-required immunizations to enter school (in other words, the student has one of each required vaccine series), or if the immunizations have not been recorded on an Iowa Department of Public Health Certificate of Immunization.

Not Fully Vaccinated

This category represents the summary of all exemptions (medical and religious) and certificates (provisional and invalid).


Contact Us

Phone: (515)-286-3798
Fax: (515)-286-2033
Toll free: 866-209-1300

Address: 1907, Carpenter Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50314