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New K-12 Immunization Requirements for 2017-18 School Year

medical WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (MARCH 16, 2017) — The Pennsylvania Department of Health has released new school immunization requirements for kindergarten through 12th-grade students, beginning with the 2017-18 academic year.
According to the state, students in all grades will need the following immunizations for attendance:
  • four doses of tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis* (one dose on or after 4th birthday),
  • four doses of polio (fourth dose on or after 4th birthday and at least six months after previous dose given),
  • two doses of measles, mumps and rubella**,
  • three doses of hepatitis B, and
  • two doses of varicella (chickenpox) or evidence of immunity.
Seventh- through 12th-grade students will now have the following additional immunization requirements for attendance:
  • two doses meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV):
    • first dose is given 11-15 years of age for entry into seventh grade
    • a second dose is required at age 16 or entry into senior year;
    • if the dose was given at 16 tears of age or older, only one dose is required; and
  • one dose of tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis (Tdap) is required for entry into seventh grade.
According to Williamsport Area School District Health Services Director Krista Fagnano, school nurses are reviewing the immunization records of all students.
Parents of students who do not meet the new immunization requirements will receive a letter in the mail informing them of what immunization(s) their child needs. Students in grades kindergarten, seventh and 12th grade will be affected by the new requirements. However, there are some students in other grades who will need a fourth polio vaccine.
"Parents who receive a letter are requested to contact their health care provider and inquire about the immunizations," Fagnano said. "If the child has already received the immunizations, please ask the health care provider to fax those records to the school nurse. If the child has not received the immunizations,  we are asking that they schedule an appointment as soon as possible." 
For more information or any questions can be directed to the district's Health Services Department at 570-327-5500 ext. 33547.
*Usually given as DTaP or DTP or DT or Td
** Usually given as MMR