New Pennsylvania Immunization Requirements Go Into Effect August 1, 2017
Beginning August 1, 2017, parents will have a significantly shorter time frame to provide proof of vaccination, due to changes in school immunization regulations by the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Previously, families may have had up to 8 months to provide proof of immunization. The new regulations require families to provide proof of immunization on or before the first day of school or risk their child’s exclusion. The new regulations are intended to ensure that children attending school are adequately protected against potential outbreaks of preventable diseases.
Children in ALL grades (K-12) need the following vaccines:
- Four (4) doses of tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis* (1 dose on or after 4th birthday)
- Four (4) doses of polio (4th dose on or after 4th birthday, and at least 6 months after previous dose given)**
- Two (2) doses of measles, mumps, and rubella*** (given after 12 months of age)
- Three (3) doses of hepatitis B
- Two (2) doses of varicella (chickenpox), or evidence of immunity
*Usually given as DTaP, DTP, DT, Td. Pertussis for all grade levels is new.
**4th dose not necessary if 3rd dose administered at age 4 or older, and at least 6 months after previous dose.
**Usually given as MMR
Additional immunization requirements for attendance for children in 7th and 12th grades:
One (1) dose of tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis (Tdap)
- Two (2) doses of meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV)
- 1st dose given at 11-15 years of age; 2nd dose required at age 16, or entry into 12th grade
- If the dose was given at 16 or older, only one dose is required.
Exemptions to school law for immunization:
- Medical reasons
- Religious beliefs
- Philosophical/strong moral or ethical conviction
If a child is exempt, he or she may be removed from school during an outbreak/health emergency.
For additional information on Pennsylvania’s school immunization requirements, visit the Pennsylvania Department of Health website at www.health.pa.gov or contact your child’s school nurse.