School Vaccine Information - Media

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has revised the immunization requirements for school-aged students effective August 2017. These regulations are intended to ensure that children attending school in the commonwealth are adequately protected against potential outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases.

Highlights of the revision

  • Changing the 8-month provisional period for immunizations with the new requirement of a 5-day provisional period. Prior to August 2017, a parent had 8 months to complete all required immunizations. This is called provisional enrollment.
  • As of August 2017, a school-aged child must have all immunizations completed within the first 5 days of school. If the student is in the middle of a series and it is too soon for the next dose, the parents must provide the school nurse with a plan for immunizations (signed by a health care provider) within the first 5 days. If the student has incomplete immunizations and no medical plan, the student will be excluded from school.
  • These requirements allow for the following exemptions: medical reasons, religious beliefs, or philosophical/strong moral or ethical conviction. If your child is exempt from immunizations, he or she may be removed from school during an outbreak.
Children in ALL grades (K-12) need the following immunizations for attendance:
  • 4 doses of tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis (1 dose on or after 4th birthday) (DTaP) 
  • 4 doses of polio (4th dose on or after 4th birthday and at least 6 months after previous dose given) (IPV) 
  • 2 doses of measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) 
  • 3 doses of hepatitis B (Hep B) 
  • 2 doses of varicella (chickenpox) or evidence of immunity (History of chickenpox or antibody titer) 
7th through 12th Grade ADDITIONAL immunization requirements for attendance:
  • 1 dose of tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis (Tdap) 
  • 2 doses meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4) 
    • First dose prior to entry into 7th grade 
    • A second dose is required at age 16 or prior to entry into 12th grade. If the student has already received the first dose after age 16, only one dose is required.


School Vaccination Requirement Fact Sheet 
IMMUNIZE! It’s the Rule for Back to School 
State Law and Regulations, March 2017 

Articles, Videos, Blogs, other news sources for Website and Social Media Posting

‘No Jab, No Play’: How Australia Is Handling the Vaccination Debate
Measles in Europe
France Makes Immunizations Mandatory for ALL Children in 2018
CNN: How countries around the world try to encourage vaccination (6/6/17)
Mint Press News: Germany Announces Mandatory Vaccinations For Children (6/2/2017)
U.S. News and World Report: German Kindergartens Must Report Parents for Refusing Vaccine Advice Under New Law (5/26/17)
BBC News: Italy makes 12 vaccinations compulsory for children (5/19/17)
BBC News: Measles outbreak across Europe (3/28/17)

How Vaccines Have Changed Our World in One Graphic
Why Mandatory Vaccines are Critical, Visualized (Washington Post)
Oral Cancer Among Reasons Doctors Urge HPV Vaccines for Kids
For Pregnant Women Getting Serious About Whooping Cough
CBS News- Flu Shots Save Lives
10 Things Parents Who Don’t Immunize Their Kids Should Know

New Law Requires Pennsylvania Students Be Immunized Within 5 Days of Start of School
New Vaccine Rules For Pennsylvania Students: What You Need to Know (Lower Providence Patch 5-26-17)
Why Aren’t Kids Getting Immunized


Kalyn Roberts (MCHD Public Health Nurse) with Diego Costellanos 
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Kalyn Roberts – KYW News Radio