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State School Immunization Requirements for Students Effective August 1

  • Publish Date : 2011/06/03 - (Rev. 2016/06/13)
  • Author : Montgomery County Health Department
  • Contact : -


Changes to school immunization requirements may affect some students in grades K-12 with additional requirements for students entering 7th grade.

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Changes to school immunization requirements may affect some students in grades K-12 with additional requirements for students entering 7th grade.

According to Pennsylvania State Department of Health officials, changes to school immunization requirements for vaccines will take effect August 1.

The changes were made to update the Pennsylvania school immunization requirements to more closely match recommendations by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

Changes may affect some students in grades K-12, with additional requirements for students entering 7th grade.

The Montgomery County Health Department suggests that parents review their children's records now while they are still in school to see if their child has the required vaccines. They can check with their physician or the school nurse to make sure their child is up to date on their vaccines.

The new requirements are:

For ATTENDANCE in all grades in 2011/2012, children need the following:

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

Usually given as DTP or DTaP or DT or Td **Usually given as MMR

Additionally, children ATTENDING 7th grade in 2011/2012 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 earlier this year.

The Montgomery County Health Department urges parents to share their child's vaccine records with the school nurse so that the nurse will have an accurate assessment of their child's immunization needs and can see which students are in compliance with the new guidelines.

The full list of immunization requirements effective Aug. 1 for the 2011-2012 school year is available at:


For general information about vaccines, visit:


For questions about school policies or health examinations, contact the local school system.

For more information on the new requirements, residents should call the health department clinic nearest to them or visit the MCHD website at:


They can also be accessed on the Pennsylvania State Health Department website at:


Editor: All fifty states have legislation requiring specified vaccines for students. Although exemptions vary from state to state, all school immunization laws grant exemptions to children for medical reasons. Almost all states, except Mississippi and West Virginia, grant religious exemptions for people who have religious beliefs against immunizations. Twenty states allow philosophical exemptions for those who object to immunizations because of a personal, moral or other beliefs.

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