New Immunization Requirements for PA Schools This Fall
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New Immunization Requirements
for PA Schools

As the first day of school approaches, I want to let you know that the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) has revised Pennsylvania school immunization requirements, effective this school year.

On the first day of school, a child must have at least one dose of the DTaP, polio, MMR, hepatitis B, and chickenpox (or evidence of immunity) vaccinations. Most of these vaccinations are multi-dose as listed here on the DOH website.

Previously, parents had eight months to meet school immunization requirements. Under the new rules, if a child is not fully immunized from the diseases noted above or if additional doses are needed, the child must become fully immunized within the first five days of school or risk exclusion. If the next dose is not the final dose of the series or the next medically appropriate dose is beyond five days, a medical plan of compliance must be submitted to the child’s school within the first five days of school or the child may be excluded from school. The medical plan must be signed by the child’s health care provider.

For attendance in seventh grade, one dose of DTap and meningococcal conjugate (MCV) are required to start school. To begin 12th grade, one MCV dose is required.

These requirements allow for the following parental exemptions: child’s medical condition, religious belief, or philosophical/strong moral or ethical convictions. Even if the child is exempt, he or she may be excluded from school during an outbreak of vaccine preventable diseases.

As we begin to see reemergence of preventable diseases such as measles and mumps, it is important to protect our children and larger society from spreadable disease. If parents are not seeking exemption, please ensure that your child is current on all immunizations now. Free immunizations for eligible children are available through the Allegheny County Health Department.

More information is also available through your school district, health care provider, or by calling 1-877-PA-Health.

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