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New Immunization Requirements for Pennsylvania Students

December 21st, 2017

Philadelphia Employment Lawyers weigh in on new immunization requirements for Pennsylvania students. Before starting the 2017-2018 academic school year, students in Pennsylvania had to complete immunization requirements. These new requirements were put into place to protect children from serious, preventable conditions, such as tetanus and polio. Parents can obtain exemptions to immunization requirements for their children if the vaccinations do not fit with their moral or philosophical convictions, their sense of ethics, their religious beliefs, or if there is a medical reason why the child cannot be vaccinated.

Vaccinations Students Need

Pennsylvania students must have the following vaccinations before entering elementary school, seventh grade, and 12th grade.

By the first day of kindergarten:

  • Four doses of tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis, one of which must have been administered on or after the child’s fourth birthday
  • Two doses of measles, mumps, rubella
  • Three doses of hepatitis B
  • Two doses of varicella or evidence of immunity to this condition

On the first day of seventh grade:

  • One dose of tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis
  • One dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine

On the first day of 12th grade:

  • One dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine

In addition to these changes, the provisional period for students not yet vaccinated was reduced from eight months to five days. A standard medical certificate, an official form that outlines a student’s plan to complete all necessary immunizations, was also created. This document, issued by the Department of Health, must be signed by a doctor, nurse practitioner, physician’s assistant, or public health official when a vaccine is administered.

Risks of Failing to Vaccinate a Child

A child who is not vaccinated is a child at risk of becoming ill during an outbreak of an infectious disease. Children who are exempt from immunization requirements may be removed from school during outbreaks. Opting not to vaccinate children increases their risk of suffering from conditions such as chicken pox, measles, and diphtheria. Choosing not to vaccinate children also puts other unvaccinated children and individuals at risk. Pennsylvania has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the United States. Although parents have the right to choose not to vaccinate their children, schools also have the right to deny unvaccinated children entry to protect other students.

Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at The Gold Law Firm P.C. Help Parents Seek Justice for Their Children

If you are facing a legal difficulty surrounding the choice to not vaccinate your child, contact The Gold Law Firm P.C. to schedule your initial consultation with an experienced Philadelphia employment lawyer. Fill out our online form or call us at 215-569-1999 today for your initial consultation. Our office is in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, allowing us to serve clients throughout the surrounding areas.


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