14
August
2020
|
14:39 PM
America/New_York

Confusion about School Immunizations in Pennsylvania

In late July, the Pennsylvania Department of Health announced a temporary suspension of the requirements for students to have their childhood immunizations up-to-date in order to attend school. Pediatricians and family physicians with Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital want to remind parents to not delay important childhood immunizations during this period.

This suspended requirement in Pennsylvania is only for the first two months of the school year. It was made in response to delays in children’s health care caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. “The temporary suspension is only intended to provide more time to get those immunizations,” says J. Nathan Hagstrom, MD, Chief of Pediatrics at Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital. “Our pediatricians and family medicine physicians are now seeing children every day, helping to ensure they are up to date with immunizations and answering any questions parents and kids have about their health.”

The Pennsylvania Department of Health lists the following as the required immunizations for school-age children. Please note additional immunizations for 7th and 12th grade students:

Immunization requirements for all school-age students in Pennsylvania:

  • Four doses of tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis (one dose on or after the fourth birthday) *
  • Four doses of polio (fourth dose on or after fourth birthday and at least six months after previous dose given) **
  • Two doses of measles, mumps, rubella ***
  • Three doses of hepatitis B
  • Two doses of varicella (chickenpox) or evidence of immunity

*usually given as DTP or DTaP or DT or Td
**A fourth dose not necessary if the third dose was administered at age 4 years or older and at least six months after the previous dose.
***usually given as MMR

Immunization requirements for 7th grade students in Pennsylvania:

In addition to all other required grade school immunizations:

  • One dose of tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis (Tdap) on the first day of seventh grade
  • One dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV) on the first day of seventh grade

Immunization requirements for 12th grade students in Pennsylvania:

In addition to all other required grade school immunizations:

  • One dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV) on the first day of 12th grade. If one dose was given at 16 years of age or older, that shall count as the 12th grade dose.

Make your child’s appointment today through the MyLVHN app or by calling 888-402-LVHN (5846).