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2012 News

PA School Immunization Deadline is May 1, 2012: County Health Dept. to Offer Free Vaccine Clinics April 21 & 28

March 6, 2012

March 6, 2012

PA School Immunization Deadline is May 1, 2012
County Health Dept. to Offer Free Vaccine Clinics April 21 & 28

The Board of Bucks County Commissioners, in collaboration with the Bucks County Health Department, reminds all county parents to ensure that their children are current with their school immunizations. An important deadline for compliance with the new Pennsylvania immunization requirements is May 1 for most school districts. If students are not up to date with these requirements, they face potential suspension by their school district.

According to Bucks County Health Director Dr. David Damsker, the changes to the school immunization requirements went into effect August 1, 2011. These changes in Pennsylvania school immunization requirements mirror recommendations by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). The requirement changes impacted students in grades K-12, with additional requirements affecting students entering 7th grade.

Commissioner Chairman Robert G. Loughery, who has school age children, urged parents to prepare for the new requirements. “These mandates will help to protect our school children of all ages,” he stated. “To ensure that everyone is in compliance, we encourage parents to act now in advance of the deadline. Our Health Department is poised to assist in this process, and has been working closely with our school districts.”

The new vaccine requirements for attendance in all grades during 2011/2012 include:

  • 4 doses of diphtheria (1 dose on or after the 4th birthday)
  • 4 doses of tetanus (1 dose on or after the 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

In addition, children attending 7th grade in 2011/2012 will need the following:

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

Information about the new Pennsylvania immunization requirements was sent to health care providers
and schools last fall, at the start of the school calendar. For questions about school policies or health examinations, please contact the local school system directly.

The Bucks County Health Department strongly encourages parents to review their children’s immunization records now to make certain they have the required vaccines. In addition, parents should share the vaccine records with the school nurse to ensure that the school nursing staff has an accurate assessment of a child’s immunization needs. Parents may call their healthcare provider to receive required vaccine, or if they do not have a family physician or health insurance they can contact the Bucks County Health Department at 215-345-3318 (Doylestown), 267-580-3510 (Levittown) or 215-529-7000 (Quakertown).

The full list of immunization requirements is available at the Pennsylvania State Health Department website.

In conjunction with the Bucks County Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), the Bucks County Health Department will conduct two free vaccine clinics for school-age children. There is no appointment needed, and parents must bring the child’s vaccination records. The clinics will offer varicella, Tdap, Meningococcal and MMR vaccinations. These clinics will take place:

Saturday, April 21, 2012
10 a.m.- 1 p.m.
Bucks County Dept. of Health, Doylestown
1282 Almshouse Rd.
Doylestown, PA 18901

For information: 215-345-3318

Saturday, April 28, 2012
10 a.m.- 1 p.m.
Bucks County Dept. of Health, Levittown
7321 New Falls Rd.
Levittown, PA 19055

For information: 267-580-3510