When the school year began, families were given an eight-month provisional period to get students up to date with their vaccinations. Without this extension, the grace period would have come to an end in most areas next week.
The new regulations require children in all grades to receive a second dose of mumps vaccine as well as a second dose of the chicken pox vaccine.
They also require students in seventh grade to have one dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4) and one dose of the tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis vaccine (Tdap). The vaccines need to be appropriately spaced apart to be considered valid.
The department established the new regulations, but enforcement is up to individual school districts. They can allow students who can prove that they have an appointment prior to the extended deadline to remain in school.
Any student who is not yet up to date should make an appointment with their local healthcare provider, or call 877-PA HEALTH (877-724-3258) to be connected to their local state health center. The most recent copy of the student's vaccination history must be provided at the time of the appointment. Students must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Exemptions are allowed by law for medical reasons verified by a healthcare professional, on religious grounds, or on the basis of a strong moral or ethical conviction similar to a religious belief.
To review the regulations online, click here