NEW IMMUNIZATION REGULATIONS for 2017/2018 School Year
DON’T WAIT. VACCINATE NOW.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health is making some changes in school immunization requirements. These new requirements start in August 2017. These changes are to help make sure that children attending school are protected against potential outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases.
NEW ! IMMUNIZATION REQUIREMENTS
For children in ALL grades: 4 doses of acellular pertussis (whooping cough) is now required. This is typically administered in combination with diphtheria and tetanus by the time your child is 5 years old.
For students entering GRADE 12: A second meningococcal vaccine (MCV). The first MCV has been required for entry into 7th grade.
NEW ! EXCLUSION FROM SCHOOL RULES
A parent must give to the school nurse written proof that the required immunizations were given or a written plan signed by a doctor indicating when the required immunizations will be given before the first day of school or within the first 5 days of the school year .
For a Medical Certificate Plan of Immunization to be signed by your doctor click here
For a complete list of immunizations required for school click here.
If your child is in need of any immunizations, and you are unable to obtain the immunization from your health care provider, you may contact the Department of Health in Whitehall at 610-821-6770 for information and an appointment.
Children at any grade, kindergarten through 12th, including all public schools, intermediate units, special education and home education programs must show proof of immunization before they can attend school in Pennsylvania. Proof of immunization must be on file at the school that each student attends. Proof of immunization means a written record showing the dates (month, day, year) your child was immunized.
The following immunizations are required as a condition of attendance in all grades:
- Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis. Four or more properly-spaced doses administered in a combination form (diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis (DTaP) or diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and pertussis (DTP)). If a child has a contraindication to pertussis vaccine, the child shall receive diphtheria—tetanus toxoid vaccine (DT) to complete the vaccination series. The fourth dose shall be administered on or after the 4th birthday.
- Poliomyelitis. Four properly-spaced doses of either oral polio vaccine or inactivated polio vaccine, which may be administered as a single antigen vaccine, or in a combination form. The fourth dose shall be administered on or after the 4th birthday and at least 6 months after the previous dose.
- Measles (rubeola), mumps and rubella (German measles). One of the following:(i) Multiple antigens. Two properly-spaced doses of live attenuated measles, mumps, rubella combination vaccine, the first dose administered at 12 months of age or older.(ii) Single antigens. In the event the antigens were given separately, and not in a combination vaccine, the dosage is as follows:
(A) Two properly-spaced doses of live attenuated measles vaccine, the first dose administered at 12 months of age or older.
(B) One dose of live attenuated rubella vaccine, administered at 12 months of age or older.
(C) Two properly-spaced doses of live attenuated mumps vaccine, administered at 12 months of age or older.
(iii) Evidence of immunity. Evidence of immunity may be shown by a history of measles and rubella immunity proved by laboratory testing by a laboratory with the appropriate certification and a written statement of a history of mumps disease from a physician, certified registered nurse practitioner or physician assistant.
- Hepatitis B. Three properly-spaced doses of hepatitis B vaccine, unless a child receives a vaccine as approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for a two-dose regimen, or a history of hepatitis B immunity proved by laboratory testing. Hepatitis B vaccine may be administered as single antigen vaccine or in a combination form
- Varicella (chickenpox). One of the following:(i) Varicella vaccine. Two properly-spaced doses of varicella vaccine, the first dose administered at 12 months of age or older. Varicella vaccine may be administered as a single antigen vaccine or in a combination form.(ii) Evidence of immunity. Evidence of immunity may be shown by one of the following:
(A) Laboratory evidence of immunity or laboratory confirmation of disease.
(B) A written statement of a history of chickenpox disease from a parent, guardian, physician, certified registered nurse practitioner or physician assistant.
Special requirements for tetanus and diphtheria toxoids and acellular pertussis vaccine and meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV):
- Required for entry into 7th grade. In addition to the immunizations listed above, the following immunizations are required at any public, private, parochial or nonpublic school in this Commonwealth, including vocational schools, intermediate units, special education and home education programs, and cyber and charter schools, as a condition of entry for students entering the 7th grade, or, in an ungraded class, for students in the school year that the student is 12 years of age:(i) Tetanus and diphtheria toxoids and acellular pertussis vaccine (Tdap). One dose of Tdap in a combination form.(ii) Meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV). One dose of MCV.
- Required for entry into 12th grade. In addition to the immunizations listed in subsection (b) and this subsection, one dose of MCV is required for entry into 12th grade at any public, private, parochial or nonpublic school in this Commonwealth, including vocational schools, intermediate units, special education and home education programs, and cyber and charter schools, or, in an ungraded class, for students in the school year that the student is 18 years of age, if the child has not received a previous dose on or after the child’s 16th birthday. A dose of MCV received at 16 years of age or older shall count as the 12th grade dose.
- Exclusion. A child who does not have an exemption as permitted by § 23.84 (relating to exemption from immunization) and who does not receive the immunizations as required in subparagraphs (i) and (ii) may be excluded in that school year and each succeeding school year that the child fails to obtain the required immunization.
- The only exceptions to the school laws for immunization are medical reasons, religious beliefs, or strong moral or ethical convictions similar to a religious belief.
- If your child is exempt from immunizations, your child may be removed from school during a disease outbreak as determined by the PA Department of Health and the Chief School Physician.