Pennsylvania seeks new rules for child vaccinations

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Pennsylvania’s departments of Education and Health are seeking changes to the state’s vaccination requirements for school children.

Health Secretary Dr. Karen Murphy and Education Secretary Pedro Rivera announced the proposed changes Thursday. They said the new rules will further protect students from illness.

One proposed change would require students to receive their final dose of a multi-dose vaccine within the first five school days, or at least show a medical certificate with their health provider’s plan for completing the immunization.

Current regulations bar children from entering school if they are missing the first dose.

Another proposed change would require a pertussis vaccine and a dose of meningococcal vaccine before entering 12th grade.

The proposed changes need regulatory approval.

Murphy said the current provisional window for immunization presents a very real risk for children to become infected and potentially spread preventable, communicable diseases.

The regulations apply to children in public, private, parochial, and non-public schools that include vocational schools, intermediate units, special education and home education programs, cyber schools, and charter schools.

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