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This Will Only Hurt for a Moment: New School Immunization Requirements

New immunization requirements go into effect August 1 for the 2011-12 school year. Some students may need additional inoculations to meet them.

Parents: You don't have to tell your school-aged kids right away, but there's a decent chance that their summer vacation could include a trip to the doctor's office. And, yes, a needle will be involved.

The state health department has issued a new set of immunization requirements for all school children in the state. Changes would affect some students from kindergarten through senior year of high school, with additional requirements for students entering 7th grade.

For attendance in all grades for 2011 and 2012, children are required to have:

  • 4 doses of tetanus (1 dose on or after 4th birthday)
  • 4 doses of diphtheria (1 dose on or after 4th birthday)
  • 3 doses of polio
  • 2 doses of measles
  • 2 doses of mumps
  • 1 dose of rubella (German measles)
  • 3 doses of hepatitis B
  • 2 doses of varicella (chickenpox) vaccine or history of disease

Additionally, children attending 7th grade in 2011 and 2012 are required to have:

  • 1 dose of tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis (if 5 years has elapsed since last tetanus immunization)
  • 1 dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine

The complete list of immunization requirements effective August 1 is available from the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Additional information on the new requirements is available from the Delaware County Department of Intercommunity Health. General information on vaccines is available from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

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