On March 3, 2017, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PADOH) announced new student immunization requirements and standards, which must be met prior to the start of each school year in order for your student to attend class.
Prior to the reconstruction of immunization requirements, parents had eight months to fully immunize their students. With the new regulations in place, students now have five school days to receive their next or final dose in a vaccination series. Provisional attendance is accepted if the student submits a medical certificate from a physician, certified nurse practitioner, or physicians assistant outlining scheduled dates to receive their additional vaccinations, according to the PADOH.
School officials may not accept a child on the first day of school of the 2019-2020 school year if they have not received a single dose or if they have not received all doses for a vaccine series unless they can meet the five-day provisional waiver.
Seventh grade students are required to have one dose of tetanus, diphtheria, accelular pertussis (Tdap), and meningococcal conjugate vaccine prior to their first day according to the PADOH regulations.
In addition, seniors must receive another dose of the meningococcal vaccine prior to their first day.
Any homeless students that fall under the McKinney Vento Act do not follow these restrictions. Transfer students from other states and students under foster care will have 30 days to submit a medical certificate or turn in their immunization files to school officials.
According to the PADOH, religious belief and philosophical, moral, or ethical reasoning will be recognized as immunization exemptions. Non-immunized students may still be subject to exclusion should an outbreak occur that is vaccine preventable.
Failure to comply with the new immunization regulations may result in exclusion from school.
For more information, please visit www.dontwaitvaccinate.pa.gov or the PADOH immunization flyer.
Immunization flyer courtesy of the Pennsylvania Department of Health