Add Vaccinations to Your Back-to-School Checklist
August 09, 2022
With the start of the school year just a few weeks away, now is the time to ensure children are up to date on their immunizations.
This week, the Wolf administration encouraged all Pennsylvania parents to make sure their children are vaccinated and ready for the start of the school year. Officials also stressed the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine for those who have not yet received it.
"As part of back-to-school preparations, I encourage families to ensure their children's immunizations are up to date," said Acting Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Eric Hagarty.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Challenge: COVID-19 has led to more missed routine check-ups and concerns about students staying up to date on their vaccinations.
- Access: Most health insurance plans cover vaccinations without a copayment or coinsurance, as long as the provider is in-network.
- Requirements: A change in state regulations shortened the provisional period in which students could attend school without their vaccinations from eight months to five days.
- Which shots do you need?: Students in kindergarten through grade 12 need to be up to date on their tetanus, diphtheria, polio, MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), hepatitis B, and chickenpox vaccines. Those entering the seventh grade also need the meningococcal conjugate vaccine and Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis) booster.
- Quotable: “Getting vaccinated and staying up to date is one of the easiest, most cost-effective ways to prevent disease," said Acting Secretary of Health and Pennsylvania Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson.
More information about the required vaccinations is available online.